TORONTO -- The kids are pumped and all have visions of cracking the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup this season. As they should.
But Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan repeatedly has said he plans to take things slowly as he attempts to build a team that will be good for a long time. Also, new coach Mike Babcock sees value in young players getting a taste of professional hockey in the minors.
"Patience is the key," assistant general manager Kyle Dubas said Tuesday at Maple Leafs development camp at MasterCard Centre. "We're not going to rush them. We have reiterated that over and over. We're not going to bring them up unless they are absolutely ready to stay up all the time. We want them to be 100 percent ready to play for the Maple Leafs. We don't want them to start with the (Toronto) Marlies (of the American Hockey League), go to the Leafs and then back to the Marlies."