Toronto Maple Leafs v New York Rangers

Leafs sign Holland; Ashton agrees to qualifying offer


The Toronto Maple Leafs covered some bases regarding younger forwards on Wednesday — Peter Holland (pictured) signed a two-year deal that TSN’s Jonas Siegel reports is one-way. (Financials still not available).

Shortly thereafter, Carter Ashton accepted the team’s $850K qualifying offer as well.

Both Holland and Ashton might have to battle to earn roster spots next year, as Cap Geek indicates there could be as many as 15 forwards with at least a viable chance to make the team. The pair probably has solid odds to make it, however.

With a one-way deal and good NHL experience (68 games in his career, 11 points in 43 contests between the Leafs and Ducks last season), Holland’s made the bigger impact at the top level. The 23-year-old seems like he has the most offensive ability of the two, although it’s obviously still early.

Update: Per TSN’s Darren Dreger, Holland’s deal is worth $1.55 million ($775,000 cap hit) and is of the one-way variety.

Ashton, also 23, certainly got some NHL experience with 32 games of his own with the Buds last season and 47 in his career, yet he’s only managed three assists in that time.

While Toronto’s forward corps seem robust, GM Dave Nonis still has plenty of issues to resolve. The Maple Leafs have three tricky RFA situations to deal with in James Reimer, Jake Gardiner and Cody Franson.

In short, there are still quite a few things to clear up before the Maple Leafs are ready for the 2014-15 season.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?