The Toronto Maple Leafs have offered another veteran a chance at earning an NHL contract, as Sportsnet Fan 590's Andrew Walker reports that free agent winger Curtis Glencross
has signed a tryout contract and will attend their training camp starting September 17th.
The 32-year-old winger scored 13 goals and 22 assists with Calgary and Washington last season and has reached double figures in goals for seven straight years.
The club also invited former San Jose, Minnesota, Winnipeg and Calgary winger Devin Setoguchi a tryout last month.
The schedule for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey was announced by the National Hockey League and NHLPA on Wednesday in Toronto. The games will all take place at Air Canada Center beginning on September 17th and culminate with a best-of-three final from September 27th to October 1.
The World Cup will affect every NHL club in that their star players will be attending their respective country’s training camp instead their own, but it will impact the Toronto Maple Leafs even more because they will not be able to play home exhibition games while the 8-team tournament is ongoing.
This season the Leafs are playing four pre-season games at the ACC; Monday, September 21 vs Ottawa, Friday, September 25th vs Buffalo, Saturday, September 26th vs Montreal and the finale on Saturday, October 3rd vs Detroit. Next season it is likely that Toronto would have to either play most of the games on the road or play home games in alternate venues like Ricoh Coliseum or Hamilton’s Copps Coliseum until the ACC is available.
Toronto has a number of players on their roster who could be in consideration for playing in the tournament. Here are the potential candidates:
Dion Phaneuf(Canada) – The Leafs team captain has been invited to Team Canada’s Olympic training camps in 2010 and 2014 and could have a chance to make the club with a bounce back season. A contributing factor to this is that most of Canada’s top blueliners(Drew Doughty, Shea Weber, PK Subban, Brent Seabrook, Alex Pietrangelo) are right-hand shots, while Phaneuf shoots left.
Chances – 3 out of 10
Jake Gardiner(USA) – The odds for the slick-skating Minnesotan would be better if the tournament were being played on Olympic sized ice, but the US is chock full of puck moving offensive defensemen like Justin Faulk, Kevin Shattenkirk, Jack Johnson and Nick Leddy that selecting the defensively challenged Gardiner would be unnecessary.
Chances – 1 out of 10
Morgan Rielly(23 and Under) – The limiting of young players from just the US and Canada gives the Leafs 2012 first rounder a good chance at making the “Young Guns” squad next summer. Rielly will have three years on NHL experience under his belt and is likely to be the centerpiece of the Toronto blueline under new head coach Mike Babcock.
Chances – 7 out of 10
Roman Polak(Czech Republic) – The rugged 29-year-old defenseman may be a part of the Czech Republic’s blueline corps as that group transitions from elder statesmen like former Leaf Tomas Kaberle, veterans Marek Zidlicky and Zbynek Michalek.
Chances – 6 out of 10
James van Riemsdyk(USA) – The big winger led Toronto in goals last season and played for the US in Sochi. It is likely that van Riemsdyk will be united with former teammate Phil Kessel on one of the American’s top offensive lines unless his goal production dramatically decreases with the Leafs this season.
Chances – 9 out of 10
Leo Komarov(Finland) – One of the reasons that the feisty forward returned to the KHL in 2014 was to put up good enough numbers to make Team Finland for the Sochi Olympics. Komarov won a bronze medal and also played for the Finns in the World Championships this spring, which gives the 28-year-old the inside track on a roster spot.
Chances – 7 out of 10
William Nylander(Sweden) – Nylander was arguably his country’s best forward at the 2015 World Junior and could dominate that tournament this December in Helsinki if the Leafs allow him to go to play. Sweden is strong on the blueline and has Henrik Lundqvist in goal, but age is starting to be a factor up front with Daniel Alfredsson retiring and the Sedins turning 35 this season. Nylander will be 20 when the World Cup convenes and could make Team Sweden, even if he played most of next season in the AHL.
Chances – 5 out of 10
Listen to myself and CTV London’s Norman James discussing the upcoming Rookie Tournament:
See Previous Columns
Leafs Starting From Scratch Under Babcock
Goals Biggest Concern For Leafs In The Post-Kessel Era
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