Toronto Maple Leafs interested in a college right-handed UFA defenseman
Elliotte Friedman: The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking at college free agent defenseman Joseph Duszak. The right-handed defenseman had 47 points in 37 games for Mercyhurst this season.
Chris Peters: “Didn’t have Duszak on the list I just put out, but he’d be one of the younger NCAA UFA’s available at 21. Turns 22 this summer. Most others available are 23 or 24. Atlantic Hockey hasn’t produced a ton of NHLers, but could be an interesting low-risk add.”
Scott Wheeler: “Some of my thoughts on Duszak, from when I saw Mercyhurst play Ohio State after Christmas: I’ve talked about him a lot this year but he is very, very good. RD with a lot of skill. Under-the-radar program may reduce the number of suitors. He’s small but plays with a lot of skill.”
Don’t expect an NHL playoff format change
Chris Nichols of Nichols on Hockey: Elliotte Friedman on Sportsnet 960 doesn’t think the NHL wants to change their playoff format, with TV possibly being one of the big factors as to not changing it.
“I should say that I believe TV was one of the big factors in this. I don’t know if it was us, or if it was NBC. It predates Rogers, it was when the rights were at CBC, but I do know – I believe it was NBC because we were told at the time they liked the more predictability of knowing who the matchups were going to be.
“Previously the NHL re-seeded, and I know TV wasn’t as thrilled with that. It was more difficult to play and prepare for, at least that’s what we were told, and it was one of the reasons the NHL changed. The other was to promote more rivalries, and it’s just been real bad luck, unfortunately for them.”