Baun, Minten, Bertuzzi & Bunting

In this version of Toronto Maple Leafs News & Rumors, I’ll share the information that revered Maple Leafs icon Bob Baun handed away. As a defenseman through the Sixties, Baun performed an important position within the staff’s 4 Stanley Cup victories. He spent 14 of his 18 NHL seasons with the staff.

Second, I’ll replace Fraser Minten‘s progression through three seasons with the Kamloops Blazers. He’s rising right into a bodily mature participant who performs a dependable 200-foot sport. Can he, someday quickly, transition to the NHL? We’ll know extra through the staff’s upcoming coaching camp.

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Third, I’ll have a look at the likelihood that Tyler Bertuzzi will contend for the top-line spot alongside Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews. I’ll then have a look at what his hard-nosed type may convey to the staff. 

Finally, I’ll take a quick have a look at Michael Bunting’s transfer to the Carolina Hurricanes and marvel how he may do if he had been partnered with Sebastian Aho on the staff’s prime line.

Item One: Bob Baun Died Yesterday

One day after the Maple Leafs had been saddened by the information of the demise of younger Rodion Amirov, there was extra unhappy information. Bob Baun additionally handed away. Baun was a Canadian defenseman identified for his defensive prowess and being a key piece of the staff’s success through the Sixties. 

He had an extended NHL profession, spanning from 1956 to 1973, enjoying 964 regular-season video games. During that point, he helped his Maple Leafs win 4 Stanley Cups (in 1962, 1963, 1964, and 1967).

Related: 50 Years Ago in Hockey – Bob Baun, One Tough Hombre

Although he was identified primarily for his defensive expertise, Baun additionally contributed offensively. He scored 37 targets and added 187 assists (for 224 factors) throughout his NHL profession. He additionally had a robust influence and his clutch performances through the playoffs. 

Specifically, he scored the game-winning overtime goal in Game 6 of the 1964 Stanley Cup Final, whereas enjoying with a damaged leg on the time. It’s one of the vital iconic moments in NHL historical past.

Bob Baun, Maple Leafs defenseman

Of Baun’s 18 NHL seasons, he spent 14 of them with the Maple Leafs. His loyalty and dedication to the staff is famous. He’ll be remembered for his defensive expertise, clutch performances, and his key position within the Maple Leafs’ championships of the Sixties.

Item Two: Fraser Minten Shaping Up Quite Nicely

Fraser Minten is popping right into a promising Maple Leafs prospect. He’s a 6-foot-2,192-pound heart who turned 19 early in July. He was chosen by the staff within the second spherical (thirty eighth total) of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. Minten has performed the previous three seasons with the Kamloops Blazers within the Western Hockey League (WHL). Each season, he’s improved his play and his scoring. 

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Knies, Minten & New Draft Strategy?

In 2020-21, he scored 4 targets and 14 assists (for 18 factors) in 20 video games. In 2021-22, Minten performed 67 video games, scoring 20 targets and including 35 assists (for 55 factors) in 67 video games. He additionally scored six targets and 16 factors in 17 playoff video games. Last season, Minten performed 57 regular-season video games, scoring 31 targets and including 36 assists (for 67 factors). 

Fraser Minten Kamloops Blazers
Fraser Minten, Kamloops Blazers (Candice Ward/CHL)

While he’s proven that he can produce offensively and contribute to his staff’s success, he’s nonetheless rising. His mixture of dimension and energy provides him a bonus in battles on the ice and helps him excel defensively. Although his shot will not be overly highly effective, Minten is noted for his quick release and accuracy. 

He’s a smooth-skating heart whose 200-foot sport makes him a dependable and well-rounded participant. Over the following whereas, it’s been reported that he’ll give attention to his tenacity and assertiveness to dominate in several areas of the sport. 

Related: Remembering Maple Leafs Tough Guy Jim Dorey

Although he’s nonetheless creating, Minten is projected to turn into a middle-six NHL heart. Given his bodily attributes and the staff’s plans, he ought to transition properly from junior to the NHL.

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Look for Minten to get some enjoying time throughout coaching camp, which ought to give followers extra readability on each his readiness for the following stage and the staff’s plans for him.

Item Three: Pencil Tyler Bertuzzi Into the Team’s First-Line

While there are not any selections being made but, good cash has Tyler Bertuzzi enjoying alongside Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews on the highest line. There are plenty of the explanation why this might make sense. 

First, Bertuzzi is a bodily presence with a sandpaper type. The staff’s first line might use a little bit of “attitude.” Last season, Michael Bunting offered a few of that, however he didn’t convey what Bertuzzi might in that space. 

Tyler Bertuzzi Detroit Red Wings
Tyler Bertuzzi, Detroit Red Wings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Bertuzzi is thought for his willingness to interact bodily and play a gritty, hard-nosed sport, which ought to complement the finesse and talent of Marner and Matthews.

Second, think about if Bertuzzi can create some constructive chemistry with Matthews and Marner. he might assist open up house and possibilities for Matthews and Marner to excel much more offensively. At the identical time, there’s an opportunity that Bertuzzi can leverage his chance on the highest line to place up career-high offensive numbers. 

Related: Top 10 Weirdest Goalies in NHL History

This is one thing that I’m wanting ahead to creating over the common season. We’ll see how head coach Sheldon Keefe sees it.

What’s Next for the Maple Leafs?

Talking about Bertuzzi enjoying on the primary line jogs my memory of Bunting’s transfer to the Hurricanes. Given his enjoying type, the transfer ought to be a very good one for him. He enhances the Hurricanes’ emphasis on forechecking and staff play.   

While the Hurricanes nonetheless have line mixtures to determine, it makes me marvel if Bunting could possibly be partnered with Sebastian Aho. Could he probably improve his goal-scoring? 

Bunting will seemingly be used as a top-four winger, and his partnership with Aho may actually spring him unfastened. Could he move his earlier totals of 23 targets every season and rating as much as 60 factors? Thirty targets will not be out of the realm of chance.

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