For now, I’m guessing Colborne gets the third-line job on the wing, Bernier will emerge in goal as the likely starter and if Franson doesn’t sign, Rielly might stay—at least, as some have posted here, for the first few games of the regular season. Mason Raymond has looked good early on, scoring again in Ottawa, but I would expect that kind of effort, given he is fighting for a job and he has no guarantee of staying here. (Whether he is a “Carlyle player” is a different question.)
So again, not many roster surprises appear to be in the offing, but that’s OK. Most Leaf fans—even those who enjoy the autumn roster intrigue—most likely just want to get a new year underway.
As we wait for substantive news (Franson signing, injuries, unexpected roster announcements), let me extend a quick thank you to those who continue to make VLM a part of their regular hockey reading fare. I launched the site about this time in September of 2009, so for what it’s worth, I guess that means we have reached our fourth “anniversary” together of batting around Leaf topics—past and present. We've talked about everybody from Tomas Kaberle and Phil Kessel to George Armstrong, Dave Keon and Darryl Sittler (the photo of Armstrong and Keon at right is from night of the '63 Cup win at the Gardens against Detroit...) and everyone in between. Some 1,300 plus posts later, I continue to enjoy the camaraderie of the site, and the thoughtful readers/commentators who drop by and take the time to post here.
It also happens that September 20 is a landmark birthday for me. Born in 1953 (if you care to do the arithmetic, this particular anniversary is easy to determine!) it’s the dawn of a new decade for me, as it were. Not sure if I qualify for any "discounts" yet, but I guess I’ll need to look into that sort of thing.
Meanwhile, though I may not, going forward, post as frequently as I have through much of the past four years, I will look to stay in touch with you throughout the coming NHL season. There will be plenty of topics to mull over, I’m sure, including the much-anticipated goaltending competition—which is not quite, but will soon be, in full swing.
In the meantime, I invite you to check out my new eBook, called “The Maple Leafs of My Youth: what being a Leaf fan means to me”. Thank you to all those who have purchased the book already and have also provided such positive feedback! With that feedback in mind, I’m already working on the next volume now. (And I do hope to have an announcement soon about the book being available on more platforms, including Amazon, if everything works out.)