The Toronto Maple Leafs announced that a pre-game ceremony will be held prior to the game against the Ottawa Senators at Air Canada Center on Saturday to announce the latest inductees to Legends Row.
The monument to the greatest players in franchise history located in Maple Leaf Square currently includes ten statues of Leafs greats Ted “Teeder” Kennedy, Darryl Sittler, Johnny “China Wall” Bower, Borje Salming, George “Chief” Armstrong, Syl Apps, Mats Sundin, Dave Keon, Walter “Turk” Broda and Tim Horton, all members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The club could reveal as many as three players to be immortalized. Based on the club’s Top 100 list revealed last October, Hall of Famer Frank Mahovlich (the only member of the top 10 not selected) is a likely choice.
Other possibilities are Charlie Conacher, who led or tied for the league lead in goals five times in the 1930’s and won a Stanley Cup in 1932; Leonard “Red” Kelly, who won eight Stanley Cups in his career, including four with the Leafs from 1962 – 1967; Doug Gilmour and Wendel Clark, who led the Leafs to consecutive Western Conference Finals in 1993 and 1994 and served as team captain.
The Leafs will likely provide an update on the health status of rookie winger Mitch Marner on Friday. The club did not practice on Thursday after splitting back-to-back games against the Islanders and Blue Jackets, but will take to the ice at MasterCard Center on Friday.
Marner was injured in the second period of the 5-2 loss to Columbus on Wednesday, sliding into the boards after colliding with Jackets forward Boone Jenner. The 19-year-old rookie went to the Toronto locker room favoring his right arm/shoulder, returned before the period concluded and came out for the start of the third, but was shut down for the night after two shifts.
Rumors are bound to increase in volume between now and March 1 involving the Maple Leafs and while management is expected to keep their options open, a big trade is not expected.
Reporter Adrian Dater posted on Twitter that Toronto is suddenly in play for Colorado winger and team captain Gabriel Landeskog and center/winger Matt Duchene.
Landeskog, 24, was selected second overall in 2011 and is under contract for another four seasons at $5.57 Million. Duchene, 26, scored a career-high 30 goals last season and is locked up until 2018-19 at a cap hit of $6 Million.
Most of the rumors of any significant transactions involving Toronto have centered around defensemen and any trade for a top six forward would be surprising, based on the Leafs strength up front with Marner, Auston Matthews, William Nylander, James van Riemsdyk and Nazem Kadri.
The Avalanche play in Buffalo on Thursday and Terry Frei of the Denver Post reports that three representatives of the Leafs; Assistant GM Kyle Dubas, Director of Pro Scouting Dave Morrison and scout Tom Watt are present at Key Bank Center for the game.
Based on their areas of need, Toronto checking out defenseman Tyson Barrie, who is in the first of a four-year, $22 Million contract and leads Avalanche blueliners with 23 points, but is also -26 on the season.
Another possibility is former Leaf John Mitchell, who might fulfill Toronto’s reported need for a fourth line center. The 32-year-old Oakville native has two goals in 46 games, but is a faceoff specialist, with a 55.6% success rate on draws.