Head Up Hockey Podcast: Toronto Maple Leafs Talk, NHL’s Return, Awards and More

Toronto Maple Leafs
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 03: William Nylander #88 of the Toronto Maple Leafs in action against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on March 03, 2020 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Jersey Joe Corner Podcast got a new name and welcome to the Heads Up Hockey Podcast. Jersey Joe Stanislau and Jim Biringer from lastwordonhockey.com are back with a new episode. This time the boys are joined by Dave McCarthy, the Toronto correspondent for NHL.com. He is also the host of the Sunday Brunch on Sirius XM NHL Network Radio. Dave talks about the NHL’s return and where the hub cities could be. In addition, they breakdown the Toronto Maple Leafs, all the play-in round matchups, NHL Awards, and look ahead to the Hockey Hall of Fame announcement.

Head-Up Hockey Podcast

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NHL Returning To Play

Jim opens the show welcoming Dave McCarthy to the program. He asks Dave if he thinks there will be hockey and where the safest place is to hold the hub cities. Dave believes there will be a season starting in late July/early August. He also feels the safest place to hold the games is in Canada even with Las Vegas being reported as a hub city. He sees Vancouver and Edmonton are the places to go since the numbers are so low.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Joe swings the conversation to the Toronto Maple Leafs and how they stack up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the play-in round. Dave says that Toronto has a tough opponent and there is a lot of pressure on them to win since this team expects to be in the playoffs. He also mentions how Toronto does not stack up well against defensive teams like Columbus. It always gives them fits.

Joe also asks about what the future might bring for players like William Nylander, Kasperi Kapanen, Jake Muzzin, Tyson Barrie, and Andreas Johnsson. McCarthy feels the Maple Leafs should not give up on Nylander just yet. This is not the right time to pull the trigger with so much uncertainty surrounding finances. He feels the best thing to do is to keep the team together.

NHL Awards

Jim switches the conversation to the NHL Awards looking at the Hart Trophy and Calder Trophy. Dave makes a case for Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche for the Hart Trophy. Says MacKinnon did so much for the Avalanche this season with the all injuries they had. But says Artemi Panarin of the New York Rangers and Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers have good arguments too. Dave says it is a toss-up between Cale Makar of the Avalanche and Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks for the Calder Trophy.

Hockey Hall of Fame

Jim turns the direction to the Hall of Fame and brings up the poll question from the Sunday Brunch. Dave prefaces the conversation saying it is about NHLers because he knows other people are up for the Hockey Hall of Fame. He says that former Calgary Flames player Jarome Iginla will get in. After Iginla, the ballot is wide open and you can make an argument for a lot of guys like Alexander Mogilny, Theoren Fleury, Doug Wilson, Pierre Turgeon, Curtis Joseph, Rod Brind’Amour, Marian Hossa, and Daniel Alfredsson He feels Patrik Elias of the New Jersey Devils should get in as well.

Play-In Round Preview

Finally, the boys shift the conversation to play-in rounds. They agree this is not the playoffs. They look at each series along with some of the more compelling matchups.

Stay Tuned for the next installment of the Heads Up Hockey podcast.

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Jim is a 2008 graduate of Saint Michaels College who is currently writing about the NHL for Last Word on Hockey. His work includes writing about the New Jersey Devils as well as NHL Notebooks for the Metro and Central Division. Jim has a passion for the game of hockey. As one coach put it "he is the student of the game." When Jim is not writing he can be found at the local rinks playing or being a referee. Throughout his time in the game, Jim continues to coach a local high school team. In addition, he broadcasted several New Jersey Junior Rockets games for the Eastern Hockey League. Reach him on Twitter: @JimBiringer

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