Toronto Maple Leafs: 5 storylines to watch during training camp

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 23: Frederik Andersen
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 23: Frederik Andersen /
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4. How long does it take for the new forward lines to develop chemistry?

With the addition of John Tavares, the shuffling of the lines took shape in the first on-ice scrimmage in Niagara Falls. Here is how Babcock had his forward lineup set for the scrimmage.

We knew Tavares, Mitch Marner and Zach Hyman were going to be a line so that would mean Patrick Marleau moving on from Nazem Kadri to Auston Matthews was inevitable along with Ennis being the placeholder for Nylander.

What’s interesting about these line combinations is around this time last season fans wanted to see Marleau play with Matthews and a season later that finally becomes reality. There should be no reason why Marleau and Matthews can’t get off on the right foot since they’ve played together at different points last season and they have the father-son bond off the ice.

It might take the Tavares-Marner-Hyman line some time to get things going but we know what Hyman’s role is going to be so it comes down to how long it takes Tavares and Marner to click.

The skill between both players is undeniable but it has been a while since Tavares has had a winger with Marner’s skillset for an entire season and Marner has bounced around the Leafs lineup in his first two seasons with the Leafs. Given the experience Tavares brings it shouldn’t take long for him to help Marner take his game to the next level meaning a decent payday for Marner at some point.

The third and fourth lines look like they’re almost set with Kadri and Connor Brown together but the third player on that line could be an open competition. Expect the third to be a strong defensive unit given how Kadri and Brown have been used in the past and maybe find ways to contribute offensively.

Then there’s the fourth line which could have Par Lindholm, Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson which would be a fun line considering the various elements each player brings.