While the Maple Leafs opted to keep their core intact this summer, GM Kyle Dubas acknowledged on a recent edition of the Bob McCown Podcast (audio link) that he did give some consideration to shaking things up but that none of the moves would have made them tangibly better, only different. Instead, he opted to change up some of the depth players instead while bringing in a handful of wingers to battle for Zach Hyman’s spot in the top six while believing that Toronto will be able to get over the playoff hump following another early elimination last season. There will be more decisions to be made next summer when it comes to their core with defenseman Morgan Rielly and goalie Jack Campbell slated to become unrestricted free agents and not a lot of cap flexibility to work with at that time.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic:
- Still with the Maple Leafs, Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun suggests that Toronto may look to bring someone in on a PTO in the coming days. With most of their roster spots spoken for and a need to carry a group that’s below the maximum roster size, there don’t appear to be a lot of spots for someone on a PTO to fill but more depth for training camp battles rarely is a bad thing. The Leafs already have one tryout deal on the books in winger Joshua Ho-Sang but that is most likely for a spot with their AHL squad.
- Tampa Bay’s signing of Simon Ryfors back in May largely went under the radar but Joe Smith of The Athletic notes (subscription link) that a total of five teams offered the undrafted forward an entry-level contract for 2021-22. The 24-year-old ultimately chose to sign with the Lightning and with the departures they had up front this summer, Ryfors could have a chance to break camp with the big club or be one of the first recalls from AHL Syracuse. He had 25 goals and 20 assists in 51 games last season with Rogle of the SHL.
- George Richards of Florida Hockey Now pegs winger Grigori Denisenko as a likely candidate from development camp to make a push for a full-time role with the Panthers this season. The 21-year-old, a 2018 first-rounder, got into seven games with Florida in 2020-21 but wouldn’t be a good fit in a depth role as he’s waiver-exempt and more of an offensive-minded player. But if he can show that he’s ready for a spot on the top three lines, he’d likely leapfrog many of the depth additions that Florida brought in this summer.