Big changes expected prior to the trade deadline as new GM plans to make his mark; one deal has already been confirmed late on Thursday.
It’s been just over a week since Toronto announced that Chris Walsh would be named the organization's next General Manager and in a brief media scrum that day, Walsh stated he would take a week to assess the team’s strengths and weaknesses before making any comments on how he plans on getting the Leafs back into the playoffs.
He did, however, hint that some veterans in this group could be moved before the deadline.
"Before we begin, I’m not here today to answer any questions, but to make a statement only," said Walsh. "I want to take some time to review this team from top to bottom, get to know the coaching staff and their habits, and find myself the best pizza joint in the city. Once I get those figured out, I’ll be an open book to answer any burning questions.
"I will however leave you with this: no job is safe here. If we must strip this ship to its ribbings, then so be it be done."
During his first week, Toronto holds a 2-2 record, including back-to-back wins against Buffalo and the league-leading Canucks. After losing his first game to rivals Montreal Canadiens 8-1, Walsh was seen having a brief conversation with head coach Bruce Cassidy before heading into the team's dressing room.
Players are tight-lipped on what was said, but one player was quoted as saying: “He made his point loud and clear. He hates losing and he hates garbage cans. I’ve never seen one fly across the room quite like that before. It was almost majestic.”
After the win last night, Walsh and Cassidy invited captain Alex Ovechkin into the office area. After 10 mins the three shook hands and parted ways leaving much speculation that this may be the last game for Ovi in the blue and white.
On Thursday, the Leafs moved Ovechkin to the New York Rangers for Chris Kreider, Dawson Mercer, and prospect Matthew Knies.
For now, the team gets ready to depart for their next game in Ohio against the Columbus Blue Jackets seeking their 3rd straight win for only the 2nd time this season.