The Toronto Maple Leafs are returning to the city of London, Ontario this fall — and they’re doing it in style.
The Leafs have invited the reigning Presidents’ Trophy winners, the Chicago Blackhawks, along with the 2009 Stanley Cup champion Penguins to their annual rookie tournament at Budweiser Gardens.
“The Maple Leafs are thrilled to return to a great hockey city like London for the annual Rookie Tournament,” Leafs GM David Nonis said in a statement. “It’s a great opportunity for us to evaluate the players in our system against their peers from other NHL clubs.”
The Ottawa Senators are also scheduled to compete in the four-team round-robin.
The rookie tourney was canceled in 2012 due to the NHL lockout.
The Maple Leafs are expected to have a number of prized prospects on hand, according to the Toronto Sun.
Tyler Biggs (2011 first-rounder) and Morgan Rielly (2012 first-rounder) have been identified as potential participants and, should the other teams decide to send their ’11 and ’12 draftees, fans could see the likes of Pittsburgh’s Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta, Ottawa’s Cody Ceci and Matt Puempel and Chicago’s Teuvo Teravainen and Mark McNeill.
From the Southampton Press:
Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.
According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.
Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.
As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”
He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.
Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?
Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.
Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.
The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.
“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”
At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.
The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.
Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.