Toronto Maple Leafs Player News: Centers

News: Marleau has put his Toronto home on the market, further fuelling speculation that he has asked for a trade, reports Toronto Star.
Impact: Marleau signed a three-year deal with the Maple Leafs in 2017 and has a full no-movement clause. If he waives it, the Leafs would free up $6.25 million in cap space. The Leafs have spoken to the Kings and Coyotes, however it is thought he'd like to be back home with the Sharks. Marleau spent his entire career there until he signed with the Leafs. His underlying metrics have dropped dramatically over the last season, so he's a bit of a liability in today's world of advanced stats. But paired with a younger player, Marleau could be moved.
News: The Leafs and Kings have discussed a trade that would send Marleau west for 2019-20, reports TSN.ca.
Impact: The two sides are not close. Marleau's family has moved back to the West coast, so he's prioritizing places like Los Angeles, San Jose and even Arizona and Colorado as potential landing spots. The Leafs may need to sweeten the pot with a young player in order to have any team take on a declining $6.25-million player who will be 40 in September. But it would help solve the Leafs' cap issues.
News: Tavares suffered an oblique strain while training for the IIHF World Championship in Slovakia and will be sidelined for approximately four weeks, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports.
Impact: Tavares won't be able to suit up for Team Canada at Worlds, but this injury shouldn't have much impact on his offseason program. The 28-year-old pivot just logged his best season as a pro in his first year with the Maple Leafs, setting career highs in goals (47) and points (88) in 82 appearances, and will remain an elite fantasy option in 2019-20.
News: Tavares suffered an oblique injury during Team Canada's practice Thursday and will return to Toronto for further evaluation by the Maple Leafs medical staff.
Impact: At this point there's no reason to believe Tavares' injury is overly serious, but the Leafs aren't going to risk having him exacerbate the issue by remaining in Slovakia for the IIHF World Championship. Another update on the 28-year-old forward's status should surface in the coming days.
News: Tavares suffered an upper-body injury during Team Canada's practice Thursday, Darren Dreger of TSN reports.
Impact: The severity of Tavares' injury has yet to be revealed, but it's safe to assume he won't be available for Friday's matchup with Finland at a minimum. More information regarding the star pivot's condition should surface in the coming days.
News: Matthew had surgery to remove hardware from a previous surgery, but shouldn't see any impact on his offseason program.
Impact: This probably explains why Matthews won't be traveling to Slovakia for the 2019 IIHF World Championship. There is no reason to think this will hamper the world-class center's ability to challenge his career-high 73 points he put up this year in 2019-20.
News: Matthews will not join Team USA for the 2019 IIHF World Championship, John Shannon of Sportsnet reports.
Impact: Matthews put together a solid playoff campaign with five goals and one assist in seven games, but it wasn't enough to propel the Leafs past the Bruins. Although a shoulder injury limited the world-class center to just 68 games, he still managed to set career highs in assists (36), points (73) and power-play goals (12). Barring another injury, the California native should be a near lock for the 70-point mark next season and could push for 80-plus.
News: Moore was reassigned to AHL Toronto on Friday.
Impact: Moore will be able to join the Marlies, who just swept the Americans in the first round of their postseason run. The California native recorded 39 points (23 goals, 16 assists) over 46 games in the minors this season and should help bolster the Marlies' offense.
News: Kadri regrets the Game 2 cross-check on Boston's Jake DeBrusk that landed him a suspension for the remainder of the first round, reports TSN.ca.
Impact: "Of course I regret it," Kadri said Thursday at the locker clean out. "It's not my intent to hurt people. Sometimes I think with my heart and not with my head. That can't happen again." His general manager Kyle Dubas told media at the earlier year-end availability that "[Kadri] likes to defend his teammates and he plays hard, but we need him to be available." More interesting is the fact that Kadri was not allowed on the road trips for Games 5 and 7, which likely means his coach saw him as a distraction he just didn't want near the team. Kadri's future with the Leafs will be a discussion all the way to training camp if he's not traded before then.
News: Kadri (suspension) saw his team drop Game 7 on Tuesday, which means his season ends with the center watching from the press box.
Impact: The silver lining for Kadri, if you want to see it, is that the league didn't suspend him a set number of games, which means his ban won't linger into 2019-20. In 73 regular-season contests, the Ontario native notched 16 goals and 28 assists for his fourth straight 40-plus point campaign and should be capable of doing so again next year.
News: Marleau dished out an even-strength assist while averaging 17:06 of ice time in Sunday's 4-2 loss to Boston.
Impact: After going pointless in the last four games, Marleau got back in the point column with an assist on Morgan Rielly's first-period goal. Although the 39-year-old has just two points in the series, he saw 3:07 of power-play time in the game, which will only add to his fantasy value if that sticks. Ahead of Tuesday's Game 7, the veteran has been solid in the win-or-go-home scenario, racking up five points in seven career appearances.
News: Matthews scored two goals, one on the power play, during Wednesday's 6-4 loss to the Bruins in Game 4.
Impact: He fired a game-high seven shots on net in this one, giving the 21-year-old three goals on 19 shots, plus an assist, through four contests. Matthews is catching fire at the right time, but he'll need to stay hot Friday for Game 5 if the Leafs are going to steal another win in Boston.
News: Tavares won 63 percent of his faceoffs Monday and had a power-play assist in a 3-2 win over Boston.
Impact: Tavares was matched up against Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron most of the night and did an excellent job negating the Bruins center in the faceoff circle, a discipline Bergeron typically dominates. No 91's assist came on Andreas Johnsson's goal, with Tavares able to find Johnsson with a slick, between-the-legs pass from behind the net before the 24-year-old beat Tuukka Rask with a well-placed backhand shot. The helper gives Tavares three points through three postseason games.
News: Matthews found the scoresheet twice Monday, scoring a goal and tallying an assist in a 3-2 win over Boston in Game 3. Toronto now leads the series 2-1.
Impact: After being held off the scoresheet in the first two games, Matthews broke out in a big way, recording a pair of points on the power play Monday night. All game, the Bruins struggled to contain No. 34 at even strength, and the visitors had even more trouble accounting for Matthews on the penalty kill. Heading into Game 4, the Bruins will need to do a better job slowing the 21-year-old down, but we're sure Matthews has other ideas.
News: Kadri has been suspended for the remainder of the first round for his cross-check to the head of Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk in Game 2.
Impact: Kadri is no stranger to "crossing the line", having been suspended four times before this most recent incident. The decision from the league means he'll sit for a maximum of five games, which is undeniably a big blow to Toronto's forward group. Needing to fill the void left by Kadri's absence, Mike Babcock figures to deploy either William Nylander or Patrick Marleau at center for the rest of the first round.
News: Bracco (79 points in 75 games) finished the season second in AHL scoring.
Impact: Only Syracuse's Carter Verhaeghe (82 points) was better. Bracco finished the season with 22 goals, and his 57 assists were also the second-highest total in the league. Bracco is severely undersized (5-foot-11, 170 pounds), but he is a shifty skater and a world-class passer. Toronto is going to have to make room on the right side for the 22-year-old at some point during the 2019-20 season.
News: Kadri was offered an in-person hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety in response to his actions during Saturday's loss to the Bruins.
Impact: In a game that featured plenty of questionable hits, Kadri's egregious cross-check to Jake DeBrusk's head had a clear intent to injure. Kadri is a repeat offender and was suspended three games during last year's playoffs for boarding Boston's Tommy Wingels. An in-person hearing gives the NHL DOPS an opportunity to suspend Kadri six or more games, so it seems likely he'll be done for the rest of this series.
News: Matthews fired five shots but was held off the scoresheet Saturday in Toronto's 4-1 loss to Boston in Game 2.
Impact: Matthews hasn't been a factor so far this series. He has eight shots but no points in two games. And he has just one assist in his last six games overall. Matthews can be a beast, but he hasn't been able to assert himself against the abrasive Bruins. There's still time, though.
News: Kadri (knee) was ejected in the third period Saturday for a crosscheck to the head of a Bruins player.
Impact: He had been injured late in the second, but returned to notch a goal. Then, Kadri pulled his Sideshow Bob routine and decided to avenge a Jake DeBrusk hit on Patrick Marleau. He received a match penalty and could face supplemental discipline. After all, Kadri has a reputation for these antics -- he was suspended for three games last postseason for an ugly boarding incident. He's a good player if he can stay on the right side of the edge. But Kadri struggles with that.
News: Kadri (knee) returned in the third period of Saturday's game versus the Bruins, Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Kadri left in the second period after a knee-on-knee collision with Jake DeBrusk, but the intermission gave him enough time to shake off the pain. He'll return to his role as third-line center.
News: Kadri left Saturday's game against Boston late in the second period with a possible left knee injury.
Impact: There was no penalty called, but there was definite knee-on-knee contact from Jake DeBrusk. Kadri was able to skate off the ice, but had been clutching his leg.
News: Moore skated just 6:24 in Game 1's 4-1 win over the Bruins on Thursday.
Impact: Moore made the most of the ice time -- he laid four hits and played gritty hockey along the wall. He's an energy guy, not a fantasy factor.
News: Kadri picked up an assist in Thursday's 4-1 win over the Bruins for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Impact: It was a beautiful pass from deep in the Leafs' zone that sprung William Nylander on a breakaway. Kadri feathered it past at least three Bruins and Willie found twine. Last postseason, Kadri was forced to play higher in the lineup and was at times overwhelmed by the responsibility. Now, he's the third-line pivot and wins the talent war against his matchup everytime. Kadri could be a source of steady fantasy production as the Buds attempt to march toward Lord Stanley.
News: Marleau earned an assist Thursday in Toronto's 4-1 win over the Bruins in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.
Impact: The veteran provided the secondary assist on William Nylander's first goal of the postseason, a goal that gave the visitors a two-goal lead heading into the final 20 minutes. John Tavares would add an empty-netter in the late stages to make it a 4-1 final. Thursday's helper gives Marleau -- at 39 years of age -- 126 points in 185 career playoff games.
News: Tavares drew an assist and also scored an empty-net goal in Thursday's 4-1 win over the Bruins in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.
Impact: Tavares' assist came on Mitch Marner's first-period goal, which served as the equalizer to Patrice Bergeron's opening marker. Then, the former Islander would cap off Toronto's Game 1 victory with an empty-net goal late in the third, finishing Thursday's win with a team-high six shots on goal as well.
News: Kadri (undisclosed) will play in Saturday's game versus the Canadiens, Kristen Shilton of TSN.ca reports.
Impact: Kadri sat out last game due to an undisclosed condition, but he's back in the lineup for the season finale. He's had a difficult season, as his 16 goals represent a major regression from the 32 tallies he put up in each of the previous two seasons. Expect him to center the third line as usual along with power-play duties.
News: Kadri (undisclosed) hopes to rejoin the lineup for the regular-season finale Saturday against the Canadiens, Kristen Shilton of TSN.ca reports.
Impact: After missing Thursday's game against Tampa Bay, Kadri hopes to get a tune-up game in before the postseason begins next week. He will fall well short of the 61 and 55 points tallied in the past two campaigns, but a pair of points Saturday would give him a respectable 45. At the very least, Kadri's ended the season strong with four points in his last five games and will look to add to that total versus the Canadiens if cleared to play.
News: Matthews fired six shots but had three giveaways and a minus-2 rating in a 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday night.
Impact: He's now been held off the scoresheet for three straight games. Matthews is still building on a career year with his 72 points in 66 games, but he missed 15 games this season to go with the 20 he missed the year before. We're not saying Matthews is another Evgeni Malkin, but it is something that fantasy owners need to keep filed in the back of their minds.
News: Kadri (undisclosed) will not play in Saturday's matchup with Montreal, Kristen Shilton of TSN.ca reports.
Impact: Kadri will have missed Toronto's last two games of the regular season by the time the puck drops Saturday. With the third seed all locked up, the team likely just wants to keep the forward ready for Game 1 against Boston. In Kadri's absence, Trevor Moore and Frederik Gauthier would likely see more time.
News: Head coach Mike Babcock said Thursday that Kadri (undisclosed) won't be available for Thursday's tilt against Tampa Bay, Kristen Shilton of TSN.ca reports.
Impact: This news comes as a surprise due to the fact that Kadri hasn't missed any games recently. With the third seed in the Atlantic Division locked up, however, rest could be the ultimate factor for sitting Kadri. In his stead, Trevor Moore and Frederik Gauthier should draw into the lineup.
News: Tavares scored the game-winning goal in Monday's 2-1 victory over the Islanders.
Impact: His 46th goal of the season was an especially sweet one, coming as it did against his former team. Tavares has three more games to get the three points he needs for his first career 90-point campaign.
News: Matthews scored a power-play goal in Saturday's 4-2 loss to Ottawa.
Impact: He went right shelf from the slot. Matthews has 37 goals and 72 points in 64 games this season and is on a three-game, four-point streak (two goals, two assists). Keep pushing him out there -- he has 12 points in his last 10 games. Matthews' success will support yours.
News: Matthews scored a goal and an assist in Wednesday's 5-4 shootout loss to the Flyers.
Impact: He basically willed the Leafs to a point in the standings. With the score 3-2 for Philly to begin the third period, Matthews picked Sean Couturier's pocket at the Toronto blue line, took the puck the length of the ice and scored on his own rebound to tie it. Then, after the Flyers re-took the lead, he caused another turnover in the offensive zone that resulted in William Nylander going top shelf from the slot. Matthews now has six goals and 11 points in the last nine contests, pushing the 21-year-old to a career high 71 points (36 goals, 35 helpers) through 63 games on the season.
News: Tavares scored a career-high four goals in Monday's 7-5 win over the Panthers.
Impact: He scored four straight times for the Leafs across three periods, with his first tally of the night coming with the man advantage. Tavares has now tied his career high with 86 points on the season (45 goals, 41 assists), and he's got six games left on the Leafs' schedule to go for his first 90-point campaign.
News: Bracco (72 points in 67 games) currently leads the AHL in scoring.
Impact: Bracco's 53 assists are also most in the league. The Leafs are going to have to do some maneuvering to open a spot on the right wing for Bracco this coming fall. A trade of Connor Brown is one possibility. Bracco, who turned 22 years old in mid-March, is ready for his opportunity at the highest level.
News: Bracco (72 points in 67 games) currently leads the AHL in scoring.
Impact: Bracco's 53 assists are also most in the league. The Leafs are going to have to do some maneuvering to open a spot on the right wing for Bracco this coming fall. A trade of Connor Brown is one possibility. Bracco, who turned 22 years old in mid-March, is ready for his opportunity at the highest level.
News: Gauthier (foot) declared himself fit to play in Saturday's game against the Rangers, Lance Hornby of The Toronto Sun reports.
Impact: Gauthier, a bottom-six center, has compiled three goals and nine assists to complement a plus-5 rating over 62 games this season. While he's nothing more than a punt play in DFS settings, Gauthier has shown that he can be an effective producer in such limited action.
News: Matthews scored a goal and an assist in Wednesday's 4-2 win over the Sabres.
Impact: The 21-year-old has been on a tear lately, and Matthews now has six goals and 10 points in the last seven games. He's now two points shy of setting a new career high, a milestone he should easily reach with the Leafs having eight games left in the regular season.
News: Tavares scored a goal and an assist in Wednesday's 4-2 win over the Sabres.
Impact: It's his fourth multi-point performance in the last eight games, a stretch during which Tavares has five goals and 10 points. The 28-year-old has been as advertised in his first season for the Leafs -- he already has a career-high 41 goals, and he's only six points shy of establishing a new personal best with eight games left on the schedule.
News: Marleau has one goal, two assists and a minus-2 rating in his last nine games.
Impact: Overall, his 36 points (72 games) put him at risk of barely hitting 40 points this season. Marleau's game has clearly dropped off dramatically this season and he is struggling to move the puck up the ice in possession. His problems at 5-on-5 started last season, but were masked by the glitter of those 27 goals. This year, the Leafs are getting outshot, outchanced and outscored when Marleau is on the ice. Put simply, he's dragging down the scorers he plays with. At 39 with another year at $6 million AAV, he's a huge anchor on the Leafs' salary cap.
News: Gauthier (foot) won't travel with the team on its upcoming two-game road trip.
Impact: The news is unexpected as Gauthier hasn't been dealing with any injuries in recent days. The 23-year-old will be re-evaluated Thursday, which means he won't play in the team's next two games. With Gauthier out, Nicolas Petan should likely draw into the lineup barring any callups.