Futures mailbag: Marner vs. Nylander, one nasty Avs prospect and more

Mitch Marner (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Welcome back to the THN futures mailbag, where I answer all things prospect and draft related. I’m really getting a good crop of questions coming in, so keep that momentum going, folks (hit me up at @THNRyanKennedy with the hashtag #thnfutures). With the major junior season around the corner and the Traverse City prospects tournament also coming up, I may save some questions until the action begins, for accuracy’s sake. So hold tight if you don’t see your submission right away. Let’s get to it:

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Phil Kessel thanks Toronto, says he will ‘always consider Toronto home’

Jared Clinton
Phil Kessel in his new Penguins jersey. (via Pittsburgh Penguins/Twitter)

Phil Kessel’s tenure as a Maple Leaf may have come to a rather unceremonious end, but the 27-year-old doesn’t plan on forgetting his time in Toronto.

Sunday morning, Kessel took to Twitter to send a heartfelt message to those who cheered him on, wore his jersey and supported the Maple Leafs over the course of his six seasons in Toronto. In the tweet, Kessel, a native of Madison, Wisc., said he will always consider Toronto home. Read more

Report: Leo Komarov slapped with $40,000 fine for speeding in Finland

Jared Clinton
Leo Komarov (Bill Wippert/Getty Images)

If you’ve got a bit of a lead foot, make note: Finland isn’t kidding when it comes to speeding fines. Toronto Maple Leafs left winger Leo Komarov found that out the hard way.

According to Helsingin Sanomat, a Finnish news outlet, Komarov was fined more than 35,000 euros (roughly $40,000USD) in an Espoo District Court Friday for two fines of speeding and two fines of fraud. Komarov, 28, said he would have to “digest” the ruling before deciding whether or not to appeal.

Komarov ran into the legal trouble in Finland in July 2014 when he was pulled over travelling well above the speed limit twice in the same month. When Komarov was pulled over, he was reportedly travelling anywhere from 25-35 kilometers per hour over the speed limit in both instances. Komarov was asked to report his income as traffic fines can be based off of income in Finland — the more you make, the stiffer the penalty. In both instances, he told police he had no income. Read more

Which Canadian team will reign supreme in 2015-16?

Canadiens stars Carey Price and P.K. Subban. (Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

While there’s no award given for finishing as the best Canadian team in the NHL, it’s always a point of pride for the seven clubs north of the border.

In 2014-15, the Montreal Canadiens were practically carried by the incredible play of Carey Price, finishing atop the Atlantic Division and just three points back of capturing the Presidents’ Trophy. In addition to leading the charge in the Atlantic, though, the Canadiens also ended the campaign as the best Canadian club in the league — and, it just so happened, as the Canadian team with the best shot at capturing Canada’s first Stanley Cup since 1993.

Montreal has made some interesting additions to the lineup this off-season by acquiring struggling sniper Alexander Semin, grinder Zack Kassian and defenseman Mark Barberio. The trade deadline additions of Brian Flynn, Devante Smith-Pelly, Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn will also get a full season in Montreal this time around. But in 2015-16, does Montreal finish atop the heap of Canadian teams again or does another club unseat them as the country’s best club? Read more

Martin Brodeur had to think about Blues’ job offer, wanted to return to Devils

Jared Clinton
Martin Brodeur (Jeff Curry/Getty Images)

In one off-season, the New Jersey Devils have said goodbye to Lou Lamoriello, Jacques Lemaire and longtime scout David Conte. This coming after a season in which they parted ways with all-time Devils great Martin Brodeur.

When it comes to Brodeur, who had a brief stint with the St. Louis Blues in 2014-15 before hanging up his skates and joining the Blues’ front office, things could have been much different for him post-career. In a recent interview, the 43-year-old sure-fire Hall of Famer said when he first retired, he had wanted to return to the New Jersey organization. Turns out Brodeur made the correct choice.

“[The Blues] offered me the (assistant GM) job, and I had to think about it a little bit,” Brodeur told NHL.com’s Arpon Basu. “I would have liked to go back to New Jersey, so it took some time for me to make my decision. But for me to go back there after everything that’s happened in New Jersey lately, I think I made the right move.” Read more

Maple Leafs nab another Devil, hire Jacques Lemaire as special assignment coach

Jared Clinton
Jacques Lemaire (Andy Marlin/Getty Images)

Lou Lamoriello leaving the New Jersey Devils to join the Toronto Maple Leafs shocked the hockey world, and now he’s bringing one of his longtime associates with him.

The Maple Leafs announced Friday morning they have hired Jacques Lemaire as a special assignment coach, a role mirroring the one he undertook with the New Jersey Devils for the past four seasons.

“Obviously Jacques Lemaire has a wealth of experience,” said Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock in a release. “We had a great relationship from the 2010 Olympics and I’ve asked him to join our staff to help me and the rest of our coaches within the entire organization be the best they can be.” Read more