Here’s a look at the potential lines and defensive pairings. They were determined through a rigorous process that included looking for names in my Alpha Bits.
Until further notice, Tyler Bozak is the Leafs number one centre. Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul are the only combination coach Randy Carlyle has committed to. Bozak has been mentioned frequently in trade talks but with James van Riemsdyk scheduled to start the season at left wing on the second line the job is Bozak’s to lose.
MacArthur and Grabovski have longstanding chemistry and van Riemsdyk brings size and the requisite skill to the second unit
Komarov has showed himself to be an NHL-ready superpest and his return to the KHL shouldn’t adversely affect his return. McClement brings the necessary third-line checking skills. Kulemin won’t face the pressure to score on the third unit and should be a shut-down defensive forward.
Mike Brown brings grit. Steckel can win draws. Frattin is a young player who should push his way higher up the depth chart
Phaneuf and Gunnarsson are fine as the number one unit
Gardiner and Holzer can be inserted as a tandem after playing together for the Marlies
Liles played well before he was concussed at Christmas. He missed 16 games and lost the momentum of the season with his injury. Komisarek could be on bubble if Morgan Rielly or Paul Ranger gets a meaningful look at training camp.
No news here. For now, Reimer is the undisputed number one with Scrivens backing up.