TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 23: Alexey Marchenko #3 of the Toronto Maple Leafs takes part in warm-up before facing the New York Rangers at the Air Canada Centre on February 23, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

An offseason notebook from Anthony Petrielli, Alexey Marchenko is placed on unconditional waivers for the purposes of contract termination, 2015 third rounder Martins Dzierkals signs an AHL deal with the Marlies, and more in the links.

Leafs Links

Leafs Notebook: JVR Watch, Sophomore Slumps, Defence Planning (MLHS)
If the NHL season started tomorrow, none of Kasperi Kapanen, Josh Leivo or Nikita Soshnikov would be in the Leafs‘ starting 12 forwards. Zach Hyman, who just signed long-term, would be the most likely candidate to play on the fourth line with Matt Martin and Dominic Moore. None of that smells right.

Marchenko waived by Maple Leafs, could return to KHL (PHT)
According to the Athletic’s James Mirtle, Marchenko has been placed on unconditional waivers, meaning that his contract will be terminated and that he is expected to return to the KHL. Before officially joining the Red Wings organization in 2013 he spent four years playing for CSKA Moscow. He was set to carry a $1.45 million salary cap hit this season. The Maple Leafs are facing a bit of a salary cap crunch — and a roster crunch — and still have to sign restricted free agent Connor Brown.

Marlies Sign Martin Dzierkals (
The Toronto Marlies announced Monday that the team has signed forward Martins Dzierkals to a one-year American Hockey League contract. Dzierkals, 20, was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He joins the Marlies after playing two seasons with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL. Last season, Dzierkals scored 49 points (21 G, 28 A) in 47 games with Rouyn-Noranda.

Dzierkals looking to stand out at Leafs camp (TSN)
Toronto is already at 48 of their allotted 50 contracts for next season with decisions still to be made for the Leafs’ roster. Dzierkals knows he can’t control that; what he can do is keep trying to stand out in Toronto’s crowded prospect field. And Dzierkals has more than just goals and assists as a professional to aspire to. With only one Latvian-born player currently in the NHL – Buffalo Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons – Dzierkals knows what a big deal it would be for him to help raise that number, whatever it takes.

Top 25 under 25: WHL star Adam Brooks debuts at #15 (PPP)
Brooks certainly has some tools that could allow him to have a successful professional career. He has no major standout puck skills and is not known for his skating either. However, he has very high hockey IQ, a well-rounded offensive toolkit, and solid two-way capability. But let’s return to the opening question: Would you believe in an NHL career with just 11 WHL points in your draft year? Personally, I would have my doubts. So seeing that Brooks never gave up and worked his way to being one of the CHL’s star players is incredible and deserves a lot of respect.

What We Learned: The Will Butcher sweepstakes begins (Puck Daddy)
Point is, Butcher is an NHLer based on everything I’ve seen of him the past two years, and the only reason teams shouldn’t be interested in a 22-year-old with a great pedigree is if they’re pushing up against the 50-contract limit. Other than that, this kid is as good of a player as Vesey was this time last year, if not better. There are, however, twice as many forward spots in the NHL, so it’s easier to break into the league that way.

Connor Brown: “I’m confident things will get sorted out by season time” (MLHS)
You’ve got to control what you can control and go about your business every day. I’m enjoying my summer and working hard and getting better on the ice. I’m just leaving that to my agent and the team. It’s my first time going through something like this. I don’t think it’s as stressful as the media would make it out to be. I’m very confident things will get sorted out by season time. We’ll get it figured out.

Slow Pastrnak, Bruins contract talks now include trade rumor (PHT)
On Sunday, CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty discussed possible reasons why there might be a hold-up, but also noted that even a $7 million or $7.5M price tag might not be a deal-breaker. Maybe that’s more than some would like to see, but at least Bruins fans didn’t have to panic about losing another highly talented young player. And then Monday came. Former NHL GM Brian Lawton quickened some pulses when he tweeted that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the challenging negotiations prompted a trade.