Toronto Maple Leafs Player News: Centers

News: Matthews will get a bit more ice time in 2019-2020, reports Matt Larkin of The Hockey News.
Impact: "[Matthews] should be right around the 19-minute mark," said Leafs coach Mike Babcock of his young star. "I think that's where [Auston's] the best, for sure ... he's earned the right over time as he's gotten better and better to earn more and more." Matthews averaged 18:33 of ice time in 68 games last season and that increased to 19:47 in seven playoff games. The 19-minute average means some nights will be 18 while others will be 20. Even one more shift a game on average means a few more solid offensive chances. And that may get him close to his first 50-goal season...if he can stay healthy.
News: Kossila signed a two-year, two-way contract with Toronto on Wednesday.
Impact: While Kossila will certainly be given a chance to secure a spot on the 23-man roster during training camp, it seems like a longshot due to the team also adding fellow centers Alex Kerfoot, Jason Spezza and Nick Shore during the offseason. The 26-year-old Kossila's ability to play wing could help him make a case, but more likely than not, he will start the year in the minors with the Marlies.
News: Gaudet signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Maple Leafs on Wednesday.
Impact: Gaudet spent the entirety of the 2018-19 campaign with AHL Milwaukee, notching eight goals and 25 points in 50 games. The 26-year-old forward will likely stick with Toronto's minor-league affiliate for most, if not all of the upcoming season, so there's no reason for fantasy owners to keep tabs on him.
News: Kerfoot agreed to terms on a four-year, $14 million contract with Toronto on Thursday, Darren Dreger of TSN reports.
Impact: Kerfoot -- who was acquired as part of the Tyson Barrie deal -- figures to take on a bottom-six role with the Leafs, though he could still see time on the power play. With Colorado, 16 of the Vancouver native's 42 points came with the man advantage. Despite technically being a third liner, the youngster could find himself playing alongside Jason Spezza and William Nylander, which should set him up for a third consecutive 40-plus point campaign.
News: Kerfoot was traded to the Leafs in exchange for Nazem Kadri, Calle Rosen and a third-round pick in 2020, Dan Rosen of NHL.com reports. The Leafs also acquired defenseman Tyson Barrie in the deal.
Impact: In a blockbuster move between two playoff teams, Kerfoot will head north of the boarder to be added to a youthful nucleus. The 25-year-old has racked up at least 42 points in each of his last two seasons with Colorado, and averaged 2:16 of power-play time with the club. Kerfoot will likely play wing with a loaded center depth chart for the Leafs. He was also a restricted free agent this season, so expect the team to start working on a long-term deal once the trade finalizes.
News: Shore secured a one-year, $750,000 deal with Toronto on Monday, James Mirtle of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Shore spent the 2018-19 campaign in the KHL with Magnitogorsk, in which he tallied three goals, 13 helpers and 21 PIM in 37 appearances. While the 26-year-old should be able to land a spot on the 23-man roster, minutes may be hard to come by outside of the penalty kill, which gives him mid-range fantasy value, at best.
News: Spezza signed a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Maple Leafs on Monday.
Impact: The 36-year-old joins his hometown team to advance his NHL career for a 17th NHL season. With an elite crop of centers -- including John Tavares, Auston Matthews and William Nylander -- occupying the top six for the Buds, fantasy owners shouldn't expect Spezza to wiggle his way into a position that would yield plentiful returns in the fantasy realm, but the celebrated pivot does have plenty of experience working on the man advantage. With Spezza's best days behind him, you can get him for pennies on the dollar in fantasy drafts this fall.
News: Luchuk was traded to the Maple Leafs from the Senators, along with Cody Ceci, Ben Harpur and a 2020 third-round pick, in a swap for Nikita Zaitsev, Connor Brown and Michael Carcone.
Impact: Luchuk split time between the AHL and ECHL last season, so don't be surprised to see him spend another year or two continuing his development in the minors. When he was with AHL Belleville, the 22-year-old managed just four goals and five helpers in 27 contests.
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.