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After a summer of change, new-look Maple Leafs eager to get going

JOSHUA CLIPPERTON THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Oct 2nd, 2019

TORONTO — Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner, Morgan Rielly and Frederik Andersen remain entrenched at the top of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ roster.

After that, some fans might need a program following a summer of upheaval.

The Leafs open the 2019-20 NHL season Wednesday night at home against the Ottawa Senators with no fewer than 13 different players in the lineup from a year ago.

That number is slightly skewed because William Nylander was in the midst of a contract impasse, while Zach Hyman (knee) and Travis Dermott (shoulder) are unavailable because of injury this year, but Toronto’s turnover has still been extreme.

“We’ve got a lot of new players, lots of new guys,” Matthews said Tuesday. “We have a new look to the team, I guess you could say, but every year you come in and there’s new faces, new guys that add different things to the squad.

“Everybody’s pretty excited to finally get going.”

Many of the moves made by Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas were related to the salary cap, while others were about remaking the roster.

Gone are some of head coach Mike Babcock’s most trusted veterans like Patrick Marleau, Ron Hainsey and Nazem Kadri. The additions include Tyson Barrie to complement Rielly on Toronto’s remade blue line that has five new faces from 12 months ago, and Alexander Kerfoot, who headlines a renovated bottom-6 forward group along with Jason Spezza.

“Training camp’s been very important for us,” Babcock said. “We think we’ve really made progress. That’s easy to say right now — the measure is coming up, the real test. Our guys have worked hard, they’ve been in tune with what we’re trying to get done.”

While the focus on the ice was about more jobs than normal being up for grabs, it’s been an eventful three weeks away from the rink since the Leafs opened camp.

A restricted free agent, Marner and the club agreed to a new six-year contract worth more than US$65.3 million to settle one of the biggest question marks heading into the season.

There has been lots of chatter about when Toronto will name a new captain — that’s expected to come down some time Wednesday — before news broke last week that Matthews, one of the team’s star centres along with Tavares, is facing a charge of disorderly conduct and disruptive behaviour stemming from an alleged May incident in his hometown of Scottsdale, Ariz.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

“I think everyone’s just happy to be back in this locker room,” said Marner, who clicked on a line with Tavares last season. “Everyone’s happy to get this thing rolling here. We’ve got a great opportunity ahead of us. We’ve just got to make sure we come ready to work every day.”

“You’re just anxious to finally get out there,” Matthews added. “Pre-season feels like it was longer than summer.”

Expectations remain high in Toronto for a team that has suffered consecutive seven-game exits in the first round of the playoffs at the hands of the Boston Bruins.

The Leafs will need Andersen to continue his steady play in goal and hope the defence corps of Rielly, Barrie, Jake Muzzin, Cody Ceci, Martin Marincin and rookie Rasmus Sandin doesn’t take long to find its footing.

Babcock said there could be some growing pains, but pointed to the St. Louis Blues, who won the Stanley Cup in June after sitting last in the standings in January, as proof the NHL is a marathon and not a sprint.

“There’s a belief,” said the coach. “Eventually it’s got to be your time, but you’ve got to work to make it your time and you’ve got to keep growing.

“Sometimes it doesn’t show in the first 20 games, even the first 40 games. But what you just do is you stay steady on the rudder and you keep grinding and getting better each and every day.”

Tavares said he knew when he signed his seven-year, US$77-million contract with Toronto in free agency back in July 2018 there would be changes, but also that the core would remain intact.

“We’ve got some of our young players that continue to grow and get better,” he said. “And we’ve brought in some really good players, whether it’s free agency or trades, that I think give us a very deep hockey team.”

The Leafs will take on four former teammates when the Senators hit the ice at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday — Hainsey, Connor Brown, Nikita Zaitsev and Tyler Ennis — while ex-Leafs assistant D.J. Smith is set to make his debut as an NHL bench boss with Ottawa.

“It’ll be weird,” Matthews said. “They were great teammates, great guys. A lot of us, we all still keep in touch. It’ll be a little bit weird facing off against them, but in the end you’re not going to have friends out there.

“You’ve got to go out there and win a hockey game … you can be buddies after.”

That will be the case more than usual this season after Toronto’s summer of change.

Toronto police say Amber Alert prompted complaints from the public again

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Oct 2nd, 2019

Toronto police say once again, they have received multiple calls from the public complaining about an Amber Alert.

The alert went out just before 5 p.m. Tuesday after five children were allegedly abducted by their father in the Niagara region.

TPS Media Relations Officer Alex Li posted about the calls on Twitter, telling people not to call police to complain.

“Instead, find compassion and have the understanding to help locate these children. Amber Alerts are issued for a reason,” read the tweet.

After a late night Amber Alert back in February ended tragically, almost 400 people called 9-1-1 to complain about being woken up by the alert.

Since then, police services have been forced to ask people not to call 9-1-1 in several alert instances.

In each of the five Amber Alerts that have been sent out this year in Ontario, police say the alerts were carefully thought out and integral in locating the children, with all but one found safe.

Each time one was issued, angry residents called 911, complaining that the jarring alerts rattled them out of bed.

Police investigate double homicide near Jane and Finch

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Oct 2nd, 2019

Toronto police are at the scene of a double homicide after shots rang out in the Jane and Finch area Monday night.

Emergency crews were called to the area just before 8:30 p.m. for reports of a different shooting. When police arrived on scene they found one suffering from minor injuries, as well as shell casings in the area.

While they were investigating, officers heard multiple gunshots nearby and raced over to Grandravine Drive where they found two males suffering from life-threatening gunshot wounds in the courtyard of a housing complex.

Both males were rushed to hospital in critical condition and died of their injuries.

No suspect description has been released. Homicide detectives are expected to update the investigation later on this morning.

As for the first shooting that originally brought police to the area, a white SUV crossover was identified as a vehicle of interest and they are looking for at least two suspects. No descriptions have been made available.

Antoni Porowski On Success and His Foodie-Future

Kyle Mack | posted Tuesday, Oct 1st, 2019

Antoni in the Kitchen, the debut cookbook by Antoni Porowski, provides an intimate look into the life of the Queer Eye foodie. As the food and wine expert on Queer Eye, the heartwarming reboot of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Antoni has charmed viewers around the globe with his recipes and brown eyes alike. Peppered with culinary-anecdotes of his past, Antoni steps beyond traditional celeb-cookbook territory and shares his heritage with readers.

Dina Pugliese sat down with Antoni ahead of his cooking class, in partnership with Scotiabank Amex, to talk about cooking-culture and how he has paved his way outside of Queer Eye and into a foodie-future.

D: How did you go about choosing the 100 recipes for the book?

A: The decision to come up with 100 recipes wasn’t my own, it was thanks to my genius editor and co-author Rux Martin and Mindy Fox, when they first came up with that I was intimidated. I don’t write recipes down, I don’t understand measurement. Everything is in the palm of my massive gigantic hand, and I sort of had to learn how to do all of that. When I decided that I wanted to make this my memoir, with queer eye we help other people and as all five of us go off into our side projects and other things we are passionate about, we get to sort of look at our own stories. My memoir has been through food. It is how I’ve said I love you to so many people, its how I show up for other people, its how I say I’m sorry, it’s my polish heritage, food is everything for me. All the important conversations I’ve ever had have been around the table, around a meal.

D: You are the heart of Queer Eye, and have a huge sense of empathy – that’s not something that can be taught. Does that come from your upbringing? Where did you get this sense of empathy?

Antoni Porowski for Breakfast Television – Taken by Kyle Mack

A: I think I am just a very sensitive person and I take on other people’s emotions; Sometimes to my betterment and sometimes to my detriment. I don’t know how to not be like that, I feel for people.

D: Queer Eye showcases such intimate conversations, people must feel safe in your presence. You don’t feel judged by Antoni, you just want to share.

A: I am judgemental enough with myself, I don’t like to be like that with our people. It’s kind of like “treat others the way you want to be treated”; I know that’s a thing we hear all the time but it’s the simplest things in life that our school teachers, parents, and mentors have taught us…they are all true.

D: The Golden rule – Do unto others! applies at all times, in all ways.

A: The Golden Rule!

D: You talked about how you had self-doubt when going into Queer Eye, yet you have maintained this sense of humility.  How do you deal with all of this success and all of this fame?

A: I think that it is a daily reprieve. I have days where I am more anxious and I get overwhelmed by the gravity of it. It is a lot going on, but I try to keep things as simple as I can. I have a lot of conversations with my father who reminds me every day to be humble. I think that it is a thank you to my parents for raising me right; I was a brat when I was a kid, but I think I’m just trying to figure out, and I’m doing my best.

D: With the cookbook, the Emmys, the fans, do you feel worthy now?

A: By saying that I am worthy of it, it kind of assumes that I deserve everything that I have and I don’t think anyone deserves this, but I can say that I am immensely grateful for it and I don’t take it for granted – I remember every single day. When I walk into my apartment and see the life that I have, the friends that I met, my castmates, the way that I can show up for my family, I am an incredibly grateful man.

D: Speaking of your family, Johnathan recently went public with the news that he is HIV positive. It’s been a pivotal point in breaking down stigmas when it comes to the diagnosis, do you applaud him for having the bravery to do that?

A: 100%. I think that we have this incredible platform – I don’t think any of us knew what this show was going to be. For Johnathan, it took a lot but he also knows that he doesn’t want people to feel lonely or whatever it is that people are going through. He has lived a life and a half, squared, to infinity and beyond, and he is using that platform to show people that they are not alone in their experience and that they are perfectly imperfect. I have a lot of respect for him.

 

 

GTA could break heat records Tuesday

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Oct 1st, 2019

The GTA is in for potentially record-breaking heat and humidity on Tuesday before fall conditions truly set in.

The guaranteed high for today is 29 C but it will feel like 37 with the humidity.

“This is just a one day warmup for us … very warm indeed,” 680NEWS meteorologist Jill Taylor said. “Tomorrow we’ll have temperatures near that average high of 17 C and some single-digit overnight lows as we move through Thursday and Friday morning, even into the weekend.”

The current record high for October 1 was set in 2002 when temperatures reached 29.5 C.

“Getting to that 29 C depends on how long we’re in that warm sector before the front moves through, bringing those scattered showers and thunderstorms .. showers and thunderstorms tend to cool us down a bit,” Taylor explained.

Showers are expected to begin around 3 p.m. and will continue into a steady rain overnight.

Taylor said gusty wind is also in the forecast today.

Once Tuesday’s nice weather is over, the chilly temperatures will stick around until mid-October.

Trudeau, Scheer, May fight for votes in Toronto while Singh stick with B.C.

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Oct 1st, 2019

OTTAWA — Jagmeet Singh’s love affair with British Columbia continues today, as the NDP leader spends an eighth straight day campaigning on the West Coast.

He’s due to have breakfast with families to promote his $10-billion plan for universal child care, in the province where the New Democrats have some of their best chances to pick up seats if they can benefit from multi-way split votes.

The other leaders are letting him have the place to himself, all focusing their efforts in Ontario.

Both Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer are making morning announcements in greater Toronto.

Trudeau is spending a second day on gun-control policy, meeting with mayors from Toronto’s suburbs in Richmond Hill, Ont., and Scheer is making an announcement in a lakefront hotel on Toronto’s exhibition grounds.

Green Leader Elizabeth May is talking about her party’s policy on post-secondary education at Ryerson University before heading to Montreal for an evening rally, and People’s Party leader Maxime Bernier is planning several small-scale appearances with candidates in southwestern Ontario.

Man struck by vehicle in Mississauga

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Oct 1st, 2019

A man believed to be in his 60s has been struck by a vehicle in Mississauga.

Police were called to the scene just after 8:15 p.m. at Scollard Court and Heatherleigh Avenue.

The pedestrian was taken to hospital in stable condition.

The driver involved remained on the scene.

Toronto police officer charged for deploying pepper spray in off-duty incident

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Oct 1st, 2019

A Toronto police officer has been charged with assault for deploying pepper spray during an off-duty incident in Halton Hills.

Halton police say they were called to the Croatian Centre on Saturday to reports on an incident between two parties.

During the altercation, one man allegedly deployed pepper spray towards the victim.

As a result, Doodnath Churkoo, 49, of Brampton has been charged with assault with a weapon and administering a noxious substance.

Churkoo is currently a Toronto police officer with 53 Division.

Toronto Police tell CityNews he has been suspended and the Professional Standards Unit is investigating the incident as well.

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