The Toronto Maple Leafs fan base has been abuzz over the last few days after seeing pictures of Mike Babcock at games 3 and 4 between Nashville and Anaheim, even being joined by GM Lou Lamoriello for the latter. His appearance immediately made many think that he was scouting Ducks defensemen eligible for the expansion draft, though Sportsnet’s Luke Fox has an additional theory.
Predators captain Mike Fisher will be a free agent this summer, and though he’s obviously tied strongly to the Nashville community—he’s married to country music star Carrie Underwood after all—the numbers might just not leave enough room for him. Nashville has a busy offseason ahead of them, with both Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson hitting restricted free agency. If Fisher were to hit the open market, Toronto would likely be interested after the comments Babcock made earlier this year about him.
- Maple Leafs fans will also be happy to see the success of their two young stars at the World Championships. Mitch Marner and William Nylander have been some of the best forwards in the tournament thus far, with Nylander especially finding incredible chemistry with playoff-foe Nicklas Backstrom. Nylander and Backstrom have a long history, going back to the latter’s rookie season in Washington when he was welcomed into the home of then-teammate Michael Nylander, William’s father. The two, almost 10 years apart, spent a lot of time together during those first two seasons playing ping-pong in the basement or mini-sticks in the hallway. It seems all that time spent so many years ago has created a sort of familiarity on the ice, that has blossomed into some incredible goals since Backstrom joined the tournament.
- The Ottawa Senators won’t get Mark Borowiecki back tonight, though he took the morning skate with the team. According to Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia, the bruising defenseman suffered a setback pushing too hard to try and get back on the ice. He still hopes to return in this series, which would stretch to next Thursday should it go all seven games. The Senators will try to take a commanding 3-1 series lead tonight as they take on the Penguins at home.