The Toronto Maple Leafs embarked on their annual pre-season retreat to Gravenhurst on Wednesday.
The group held an on-ice practice that was open to the public, and engaged in a series of team-building activities including a round of golf and team dinner.
The excitement could be felt in the community as local residents and students from nearby schools gathered to watch the live NHL practice.
Donning their blue and white jerseys, fans enthusiastically cheered as the team took the ice. After the practice, some lucky fans were able to get autographs from their favourite players.
Gravenhurst Mayor Heidi Lorenz was thrilled to have the team back in town.
“I was so excited to hear the Leafs were once again coming to Gravenhurst as part of kicking off their season,” said Mayor Lorenz. “This visit really energizes the community. I also hope it helps fuel success for the team this season. I wish them all the best. Go Leafs Go!”
The team was also able to celebrate Mark Giordano’s 40th birthday during the retreat.
“We had a birthday cake for him and got enough guys together to sing happy birthday,” said right-winger William Nylander. “We golfed, had a nice dinner and it was nice to hang out with the guys.”
The Maple Leafs next pre-season game is Thursday at home against Detroit. The regular season kicks off October 11 at home against Montreal.