Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle was very impressed with what he saw from winger James van Riemsdyk in the Maple Leafs' playoff series against Boston.
Carlyle referenced the fact that van Riemsdyk was seemingly unwilling to take the punishment required to score goals when he first arrived in Toronto, saying "We told him to camp in front of the net and if he didn't want to do that, we'd put somebody else there. From that point on, he made the decision that he was going to go to those tough areas and make a living there." The 24-year-old led the Maple Leafs in playoff scoring with seven points, which bodes well for his future with the club.
Toronto GM Dave Nonis expects James Reimer to be back as the team's number one goalie next season.
"At this point, I'd say he'll be back as No. 1," Nonis told reporters on Thursday to wrap up the year. "I think his mental make-up remains his strength. It's something you could question last year. I think it was clear that a lot of his issues a year ago were based upon his health. When we needed quality goaltending ... James was very good. I don't think anyone could point to goaltending as an issue with our team." The Leafs may continue their search for a quality veteran keeper, but Reimer made plenty of positive steps during the lockout-shortened campaign.
Mark Fraser isn't certain if the X-ray floating around the Internet, depicting his fractured skull, is real or not.
"I haven't seen anything, but to be honest I can't bring any validity to anything," he said Thursday while sporting a nasty scar above his right eye. "I wasn't the one taking the picture and I haven't even seen it." Fraser suffered a frontal skull fracture when was struck by the puck in Game 4 against Boston. He is expected to be available in time for training camp.
Toronto GM Dave Nonis said the team will re-sign Tyler Bozak if the contract makes sense.
Nonis said, "the (salary) cap is going down, and how we allocate our dollars is very important if we're going to remain competitive." Bozak will become an unrestricted free agent in July if a new deal isn't worked out with the Maple Leafs. It was also revealed that he tore his triceps muscle at the end of Game 5 against Boston. The injury was initially reported as a bicep issue. In any event, his "arm injury" will take about four weeks to recover from.
Toronto's brass was thrilled with the play of Phil Kessel this season.
"From a development standpoint, what we would say is the biggest plus, because there were a lot of pluses, is probably the play of Phil Kessel," Leafs vice-president of hockey operations Dave Poulin said on Wednesday. "Not only in the playoffs and in that series, but throughout the year. He took his game to a different level. He did it physically and he did it in all three zones and he played hard (against the Bruins)." Much was made about Kessel's past struggles versus his old team heading into the first round, but he put those talks to rest by netting four goals and recording six points in the series. The 25-year-old winger has one year left on his current deal, so an extension could be in the works as soon as this summer.
Tyler Bozak won't need surgery for his bicep injury.
According to Leafs vice-president of hockey operations, Dave Poulin, the Toronto center suffered the injury on a faceoff late in Game 5. The ailment kept him out of Games 6 and 7. Bozak is expected to need four weeks to recover. He can become an unrestricted free agent this summer and now that the Leafs' season is over, it is expected that contract talks will resume.