In this edition of Toronto Maple Leafs’ Quick Hits, I’ll review some of the news of the week emerging from the Maple Leafs.

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Dubas, Liljegren, Niemela & Knies

Quick Hit One: Former GM Kyle Dubas Handling Dual Roles with the Pittsburgh Penguins

News out of Pittsburgh reports that Kyle Dubas will continue to serve both as the Penguins’ GM and the President of Hockey Operations. He will continue those dual roles until the end of the 2023-24 season.

Quick Hit Two: Timothy Liljegren’s Potential Breakout Season

Timothy Liljegren looks to continue his development progress as a defenseman this season. Over the past few years, while he’s had regular playing time since the 2021-22 season, he was a healthy scratch during the playoffs. That’s set to change with a bigger opportunity to prove himself because of the changes in the defensive lineup. Fans should expect him to progress and potentially sign a contract extension. His current contract expires at the end of 2023-24.

Timothy Liljegren, 2020-21 Upper Deck Allure – Red Rainbow Jersey

Quick Hit Three: Topi Niemela Seeks to Transition to North American Hockey This Season

After a standout 2021-22 season in Finland, Topi Niemela’s offence took a dip in 2022-23. He’ll be joining the AHL’s Toronto Marlies and will work to adjust to a more North American style of play. Last season, he had a brief NHL stint and an impressive performance in the playoffs. He should be part of the team’s future defensive core starting next season.

Quick Hit Four: Matthew Knies Is a Player to Watch in Training Camp

When he came from the University of Minnesota last season, Matthew Knies had a impressive performance during the playoffs. There’s speculation that he’ll be included on the opening night’s roster. This season could be huge for Knies, and fans will see if he can sustain his strong play. He’s a potential future star for the Maple Leafs.

Related: How Can the Maple Leafs Become Salary-Cap Compliant?

Quick Hit Five: Brad Treliving Has Hit the Ground Running

Since Brad Treliving’s appointment as Maple Leafs’ general manager, he’s been busy. Now two months into the job he’s changed the team’s roster and added secondary scoring. However, he has a huge issue looming with the pressure of negotiating contract extensions with Auston Matthews and William Nylander. We’ll see how he does over the next while.

Quick Hit Six: Good News for Rodion Amirov in His Battle Against Cancer

There’s good news in Rodion Amirov’s battle with the brain tumor that put his NHL dreams put on hold. News from the General Director of his KHL hockey club Salavat Yulaev suggests that Amirov’s ongoing treatment has taken a turn for the better. There are even hopes that he might return during the 2023-24 season.

Quick Hit Seven: Rich Clune Gets Married

Rich Clune, former captain of the Toronto Marlies and now the current Maple Leafs’ development coach, married his finance Isabel Unger in Toronto last Saturday. Clune has had a long history with the Maple Leafs organization and was almost a “spiritual” leader with the Marlies for many seasons. Congratulations to he and his new wife.

Quick Hit Eight: Josh Ho-Sang Is Considering Retiring

Josh Ho-Sang, a former Toronto Marlies’ player, is contemplating retirement from the KHL. When he was unable to establish himself as a regular NHL player (despite his offensive talent), he moved to the KHL to play. However, if he wants to stay there he’s required to become a Russian citizen. He’s hesitating. Although his Ufa Salavat Yulaev club has prepared paperwork for that potential citizenship, he’s talking with his family. I’m looking for him to settle somewhere else in Europe.

Quick Hit Nine: Are the Maple Leafs Getting Slower as a Team?

With the recent roster changes, there’s some concern that the Maple Leafs are losing speed as a team. There is also a suggestion that Sam Lafferty is one player who could potentially address this need. While Lafferty was a bit underwhelming in his time with the Maple Leafs last season when he came from the Chicago Blackhawks, there’s some hope that with more time to work with the coaching staff, he can better mesh with the team’s needs.

Related: Whatever Happened to Maple Leafs’ Prospect Jeremy Bracco?

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