The attention centred mostly one player this summer in John Tavares as the Toronto Maple Leafs managed to lure him back to Canada with a massive contract. While the contract is in the books, there are still some important decisions to be made by Leafs management, and one player wants to make sure the front office in Toronto does not forget about him and look to keep him on board once again.
Josh Leivo was protected in the Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft and signed to a one-year $925,000 extension early last season. However, he did not get more attention - attention he desperately needed this summer to get another chance with the team. Last year, he was bumped by Kasperi Kapanen on the depth chart and now he does not want management to ignore him.
According to Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun, Leivo hopes to see more playing time with the Maple Leafs this season and might have an idea in mind to make sure he can be noticed and forget about a trade...
“Word was Leivo’s handlers were pushing for a trade late last season, but he intends to make it harder than ever for general manager Kyle Dubas and coach Mike Babcock to ignore him in the coming weeks," writes Hornby.
The offseason departures of James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak, Matt Martin and Tomas Plekanec could open up opportunities for Leivo and he intends to get the most out of this. There should be some space and openings on the bottom six up front, and Leivo could be a great option for Dubas and Babcock.
“That’s how I’m going to look at it for sure, go into camp thinking that way,” Leivo said last week. “I’m confident I’m going to make the lineup. There’s no other way to go. It has been two years now (on the main roster).”
“I’ve always been a positive guy. If I get too emotional, it brings the worst out of me. I just try to stay calm. The new season is a fresh start for everything. We’ll put (2017-18) behind me.”
Let's see what Leivo manages to do once training camp rolls around. We never know he might meet all the expectations and convince management to stop ignoring him.