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Leafs release new third sweater

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What do you do when everyone is releasing third jerseys to increase revenue, but you own a traditional brand that has withstood the test of time. You release a throwback jersey, of course! Toronto released the third sweaters at a press conference on Friday. The new alternate sweaters were the Leafs wore between 1967-1970.

Nothing like rolling out former Leafs captains Wendel Clark and Darryl Sittler to help model the new jerseys. Those two could wear Senators jerseys on Carlton St. in downtown Toronto and still get cheered as they walked down the street.  Still, the former captains joined current Leafs Dion Phaneuf and Colby Armstrong to show off the new look for fans and media.  The Maple Leafs’ official site describes the new threads in painstaking detail (for the link for pictures of the jersey):

“First introduced at the start of the 1967 NHL playoffs, the Maple Leafs captured the Stanley Cup that spring and went on to wear it for the following three campaigns. Some of the attributes of the sweater include; a solid, snow white, wool-felt, 11-point Maple Leaf crest similar to the Maple Leaf on the Canadian Flag as the country celebrated its centennial year in 1967, felt fabric numbers and lettering, one set of thin-wide-thin stripes adorning the waist and both elbows, no shoulder patches, and a six-eyelet lace at the front of the neck. Pants adorned with a new white vertical stripe along the sides will also be worn by the hockey club for games in which the third sweater will be used.”

The Leafs will wear their new/old jersey fourteen times this season beginning with their first game of the season on October 6 against the rival Montreal Canadiens. Interestingly, Toronto will wear the dark alternates five times on the road—meaning fans of home teams wearing their white jersey will get their wish a few times this season. They’ll wear them twice against the Rangers, Senators, Sabres, and Bruins. In fact, they’ll wear their old-time jerseys against each of the other five teams that make up the Original Six at some point this season. Here’s the full schedule of games the Maple Leafs will wear the new jerseys this season:

October 6 vs. Montreal

October 29 vs. Pittsburgh

November 5 vs. Boston

November 12 vs. Ottawa

November 19 vs. Washington

December 3 at Boston

December 5 at New York Rangers

December 17 vs. Vancouver

January 7 vs. Detroit

January 13 at Buffalo

February 4 at Ottawa

February 29 at Chicago

March 24 vs. New York Rangers

March 31 vs. Buffalo

What say you? Do you like the new/old alternates? Do you think the Leafs could have done better? Or could you not care less? Let us know what you think in the comments.

NHL schedules hearing with Orpik over Maatta hit

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Brooks Orpik‘s late hit in Game 2 on Saturday might keep him out of Monday’s contest.

At the very least, the NHL Department of Player Safety intends to discuss the matter with Orpik today, per the department’s Twitter feed.

The incident occurred early in the first period when the Capitals forward smashed into Olli Maatta. The Penguins blueliner collapsed and needed some assistance getting off the ice. He didn’t return to the game.

You can see that hit below:

“I thought it was a late hit,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan told CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I thought it was a target to his head. I think it’s the type of hit everyone in hockey is trying to remove from the game.”

The Penguins didn’t have an update on Maatta’s condition immediately following the contest.

‘I don’t know if it has sunk in yet,’ Jets GM Cheveldayoff gets lucky with draft lottery

Kevin Cheveldayoff, general manager of Winnipeg Jets, speaks to members of the media after winning the second selection of the NHL hockey draft lottery in Toronto, Saturday, April 30, 2016. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
The Canadian Press via AP
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The Toronto Maple Leafs may have won the draft lottery, but an argument can be made that the luckiest team last night was the Winnipeg Jets.

After all, Toronto had the best odds to get the top pick, but Winnipeg jumped from sixth to second in the draft order.

“I don’t know if it has sunk in yet,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff told the Winnipeg Sun. “I was doing my scrum at the end (of the show) with the media that was here, I said at one point, ‘Moving from six to two…’ and I had to catch myself and go through the mental notes in my head that it had just really happened.”

It’s likely, though not guaranteed, that the Maple Leafs will take Auston Matthews with the first overall pick. Assuming that’s the case, moving up to the second overall pick means that Winnipeg will have the option of choosing one of the two promising Finnish forwards available: Patrik Laine or Jesse Puljujarvi.

That’s potentially a big break for Winnipeg, especially after this campaign where the Jets went from making the playoffs for the first time since relocating to posting a 35-39-8 record. Through five campaigns in Winnipeg, the Jets have missed the playoffs four times.

The last time this franchise drafted this high was back when the then Atlanta Thrashers took Kari Lehtonen with the second overall pick in 2002. That was the final year in a string of four straight drafts where the Thrashers always had the first or second selection. The previous three years they took Patrik Stefan (1999), Dany Heatley (2000), and Ilya Kovalchuk (2001).

Related: Shanahan: Leafs earned No. 1 pick ‘the hard way’

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoffs schedule for today

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After the Eastern Conference Game 2s played out on Saturday, we’re getting the Western Conference set today. You can watch the action via NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.

Here’s a quick overview of where specifically you can watch the contests:

St. Louis at Dallas (3:00 p.m. ET)

If you want to watch the game on television, NBC is the channel to do that. If you want to stream the game with the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

Nashville at San Jose (8:00 p.m. ET)

The game will be televised on NBCSN. You can also stream the contest by clicking here.

Here’s some relevant pregame reading material:

With Eaves injured, Nichushkin will play for Stars in Game 2

Hitchcock, Blues know they need to slow down the Stars … but can they?

Sharks swarm in the third period, take down Predators in Game 1

Speed, skill help Stars score late victory to take series lead over Blues

Video: Penguins coach takes issue with late, high Orpik hit on Maatta

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have spoken out against a late, high hit that Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik threw on Olli Maatta early in the first period of an eventful Game 2 on Saturday.

Maatta left and didn’t return. He played only 31 seconds, and the Penguins were reduced to five defensemen for a large portion of the game. Orpik was given a minor penalty on the play, but the league’s Department of Player Safety may see it differently.

The hit occurred well after Maatta had gotten rid of the puck. He struggled on his way to the dressing room for further evaluation.

Based on multiple reports, Orpik wasn’t made available to the media following the game, which went to the Penguins as they earned the split on the road.

But the Penguins have taken issue with the hit.

“I thought it was a late hit,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, as per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I thought it was a target to his head. I think it’s the type of hit everyone in hockey is trying to remove from the game.”