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King of Dick Mountain

Your 2018/2019 Toronto Maple Leafs

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1 hour ago, Konstantin Konstantinovich said:

If there is one player you can blame this April on (and there isn't - not legitimately at least) it is Andersen. Yes, Gardiner cost us game seven in many respects but Andersen letting more rubber get behind him than uteck's wife does on an average Saturday night got us to game seven. 

And there is no chance that Andersen gets moved. Possibly sadly. I'm not sure about Fredward. 

My wife’s a virgin fuckwad

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Funny thing with the media making a big deal about Babcock visiting Matthews in Arizona while on vacation.  Just imagine if Babcock did not visit Matthews while in Arizona.  The media would be going hog wild saying they hate each other for him not visiting while in town, lol

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No matter how well he's playing in the Calder playoffs

The goat will never be a full time regular NHLer unless something drastic changes in his skating, 10 years ago he could have been fine, but guys who skate like Steckl no longer can compete at NHL speed

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13 minutes ago, crazyray79 said:

Funny thing with the media making a big deal about Babcock visiting Matthews in Arizona while on vacation.  Just imagine if Babcock did not visit Matthews while in Arizona.  The media would be going hog wild saying they hate each other for him not visiting while in town, lol

Exactly. Media knows how to spin stories whichever direction they want. Not just talking hockey/leafs, but anything in general.

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I think Tavares is the only guy worth chasing this summer for the Leafs. Maybe Carlson if the price/term are reasonable.

We have our goaltending and defence in pretty good shape. Top 10 is GA is respectable considering the relative youth of our core. Guys like Dermott / Borgman / Carrick / Liljegren / Rosen should round out the D group quite well and adding depth like Ozhiganov gives further competition for the 3rd pair in the NHL / injury replacements. There are NHL UFAs worth looking at too for either top 4 or 3rd pair spots. Carlson / Green / De Haan etc

 

 

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Just now, Trevor5555 said:

I think Tavares is the only guy worth chasing this summer for the Leafs. Maybe Carlson if the price/term are reasonable.

We have our goaltending and defence in pretty good shape. Top 10 is GA is respectable considering the relative youth of our core. Guys like Dermott / Borgman / Carrick / Liljegren / Rosen should round out the D group quite well and adding depth like Ozhiganov gives further competition for the 3rd pair in the NHL / injury replacements. There are NHL UFAs worth looking at too for either top 4 or 3rd pair spots. Carlson / Green / De Haan etc

 

 

Are you still recovering from 4/20?! 

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6 minutes ago, §andman said:

Are you still recovering from 4/20?!

Yes I am recovering but my logic is still intact. We were top 10 in GA and top 5 in GF so its not all that bad. I think we could use another strong defender in our top 4 for sure but we can compete with our current group.

Id rather push Hainsey to the 3rd pair and have Dermott take on a bit more responsibility. However Carlson may fit well with Reilly or Gardiner as well.

I think we need to push hard for Tavares. Then our skill is such that the blueline has less pressure to be perfect as we can keep the puck longer in the O zone and out score our mistakes if needed. p.s. were almost at that level without Tavares.

Hyman      -   Matthews    -   Nylander

Marleau    -     Tavares      -   Marner

Kapanen   -       Kadri         -   Brown

Johnsson  -    Lindholm    -   Grundstrom/Korshkov/Leivo/

 

Reilly     -    Dermott

Gardiner  -  Zaitsev

Hainsey   -   Carrick

Borgman  -  Liljegren ---AHL n 1st call up

Andersen  -  McElhinney

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1 hour ago, Trevor5555 said:

Yes I am recovering but my logic is still intact. We were top 10 in GA and top 5 in GF so its not all that bad. I think we could use another strong defender in our top 4 for sure but we can compete with our current group.

Id rather push Hainsey to the 3rd pair and have Dermott take on a bit more responsibility. However Carlson may fit well with Reilly or Gardiner as well.

I think we need to push hard for Tavares. Then our skill is such that the blueline has less pressure to be perfect as we can keep the puck longer in the O zone and out score our mistakes if needed. p.s. were almost at that level without Tavares.

Hyman      -   Matthews    -   Nylander

Marleau    -     Tavares      -   Marner

Kapanen   -       Kadri         -   Brown

Johnsson  -    Lindholm    -   Grundstrom/Korshkov/Leivo/

 

Reilly     -    Dermott

Gardiner  -  Zaitsev

Hainsey   -   Carrick

Borgman  -  Liljegren ---AHL n 1st call up

Andersen  -  McElhinney

 

LOL.  WTF is wrong with you?  How can someone not learn ANYTHING from watching the young team fail the last few years?

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2 hours ago, Trevor5555 said:

Yes I am recovering but my logic is still intact. We were top 10 in GA and top 5 in GF so its not all that bad. I think we could use another strong defender in our top 4 for sure but we can compete with our current group.

So, we were better in GF's but you want to add more forwards?

The GA total is largely due to Andersen standing on his head half the season. The Leafs were the 4th worst team in shots against this season. They also gave up 4 goals/game in the playoffs. When Andersen isn't on his game, the defense isn't able to bail him out. 

I don't know how anyone can say they don't need help defensively. They need a better defensive forward and a top 4 or else they'll see another 1st round exit again next year. 

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7 hours ago, §andman said:

The GA total is largely due to Andersen standing on his head half the season. The Leafs were the 4th worst team in shots against this season. They also gave up 4 goals/game in the playoffs. When Andersen isn't on his game, the defense isn't able to bail him out.

This is the key here we can't expect andersen to stop 40-50 shots every game he plays. Our defense is completely inadequate (dermott and Reilly were the only defensemen who I thought had a good/consistent season) gets shelled constantly which is exposed if Freddie has a bad game (series). 

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4 minutes ago, majingir said:

Is it possible to deal a guy for a lower return? Leafs deal Vesey to Oilers for a conditional 7th round pick in 2020.

Happens all the time when retaining some money owed on a players contract so the value is less in a sense.

 

 

 

 

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Off-Season Game Plan: Toronto Maple Leafs

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The Toronto Maple Leafs reached the playoffs for the second straight season, the first time since 2004 that they have gone to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.

Off-Season Game Plan looks at a Leafs team that has lost in the first round in those most recent playoff appearances and is no longer satisfied with those results; they have expectations for more.

It’s already been an interesting offseason for the Maple Leafs, as they promoted Kyle Dubas to general manager, resulting in the departures of Lou Lamoriello and Mark Hunter.

With Dubas now calling the shots, there are some big decisions on his desk. For starters, the Maple Leafs have lots of salary cap space for next season, enough that they could be big players in free agency, whether that means taking a shot at John Tavares or John Carlson or, I suppose, keeping James van Riemsdyk in the fold.

The issue for the Leafs is that the following season will be when new contracts are needed for Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, presumably two big deals that will eat into whatever cap space still exists at that point, and those extensions could come as soon as this summer.

If Toronto can’t secure the services of Tavares or Carlson, what will they do with their cap space? Will they be left to take a run at trades for players that have one year left on their contracts?

That seems like an approach that would be less than optimal and, with a new general manager and lots of cap room, it would come as no surprise if the Maple Leafs take advantage of this opportunity to make a big deal.

HOCKEY OPS/COACH

Kyle Dubas/Mike Babcock

HEROES

Auston Matthews – He missed 20 games with injuries and may not have been 100% when he managed two points in seven playoff games, but the 20-year-old just had 63 points in 62 games. That’ll play.

Mitch Marner – The sophomore winger had 16 points in the first 29 games of the season, but with the help of a line chance, he finished with a point per game the rest of the way.

Frederik Andersen – Matching his career average with a .918 save percentage might not be so noteworthy, but when the league is surrendering more goals and the Maple Leafs are giving up quality chances when he’s in net, Andersen’s steadiness in 66 starts kept this team on the playoff track.

ZEROES

Leo Komarov – After a couple of seasons in which he contributed solid secondary scoring, the veteran winger managed just seven goals in 74 games.

Ron Hainsey – It’s possible that asking Hainsey to handle 22 minutes a night against top opposition is a little much at this stage of his career. He had his worst possession stats since 2012-2013 (47.7 CF%, -2.8 CFRel%) and those shots against weren’t easy pickings.

Tomas Plekanec – Granted, the Maple Leafs cut the veteran centre’s ice time as he moved into a fourth-line role, and he was solid in the postseason, but two assists in 17 regular-season games was underwhelming.

 

RETURNING FORWARDS

 
NAME GP G A PTS CF% RELCF% PDO OZS% ATOI 2018-19 CAP
Mitch Marner 82 22 47 69 51.7 2.7 101.2 54.3 16:23 $894K
Auston Matthews 62 34 29 63 50.0 0.5 106.9 49.0 18:08 $925K
Nazem Kadri 80 32 23 55 48.4 -2.1 100.8 39.9 16:46 $4.5M
Patrick Marleau 82 27 20 47 49.1 -1.0 101.3 43.2 16:59 $6.25M
Zach Hyman 82 15 25 40 49.7 -0.1 104.2 47.5 17:21 $2.25M
Connor Brown 82 14 14 28 49.4 -0.5 100.5 51.6 15:01 $2.1M
Matt Martin 50 3 9 12 49.0 -1.5 100.1 41.3 7:59 $2.5M
Kasperi Kapanen 38 7 2 9 50.5 0.5 98.8 34.2 11:15 $863K
Josh Leivo 16 1 3 4 47.7 0.9 101.1 28.2 10:34 $925K
Nathan Horton                   $5.3M
 

 

FREE AGENT FORWARDS

 
 
NAME GP G A PTS CF% RELCF% PDO OZS% ATOI 2017-18 CAP STATUS
William Nylander 82 20 41 61 50.2 0.5 105.7 47.6 16:41 $894K RFA
James van Riemsdyk 81 36 18 54 54.3 6.0 100.5 60.8 14:54 $4.25M UFA
Tyler Bozak 81 11 32 43 52.3 3.5 101.8 55.8 15:39 $4.2M UFA
Tomas Plekanec 77 6 20 26 51.4 0.0 98.4 39.1 15:08 $6.0M UFA
Leo Komarov 74 7 12 19 45.1 -5.8 99.2 34.8 15:47 $2.95M UFA
Dominic Moore 50 6 6 12 49.3 -0.3 100.8 37.5 10:18 $1.0M UFA
 

He might look like a high school sophomore, but Mitch Marner is a bad man with the puck on his stick. The 21-year-old is one of the league’s most creative, and daring, players. Once he joined Nazem Kadri’s line, after a relatively slow start, Marner’s production took off and there should be no question that he’s a core piece around which the Maple Leafs can build. 

Embedded Image Mitch Marner adds flair to the Maple Leafs' attack.

The first overall pick in the 2016 Draft, Auston Matthews ran into some injury problems in his second season, but he’s still scored 61 even-strength goals in his first two NHL seasons; that’s tied with Connor McDavid for the most even-strength goals in the past two seasons (and Matthews has played 20 fewer games).

Matthews has lived up to the hype, and then some, so the Maple Leafs know that that he’s central to their future, and explains why there could be any concern when it’s suggested that there is a rift between Matthews and head coach Mike Babcock. It’s not unreasonable for Matthews to want to play more than 18 minutes per game, and if ice time is all that’s up for debate, that would seem to be an easily solvable problem. If there’s something more, then the Maple Leafs will have to manage carefully so that two of their most expensive assets are headed in the same direction.

Nazem Kadri provides outstanding value for the Maple Leafs. He’s a skilled player who plays with an edge and has notched a dozen power-play goals in each of the past two years to help him score 32 goals in back-to-back seasons.

He’s 38-years-old, but Patrick Marleau just scored 27 goals and didn’t miss a game for the ninth consecutive season. There probably isn’t much reason to be concerned about Marleau’s performance over the last two years on his contract, but the concern would be related to tying up more than $6-million per season in Marleau because that will most likely cost the Maple Leafs other (obviously younger) players; a James van Riemsdyk, for example. 

A favourite of head coach Mike Babcock, Zach Hyman was more productive in his second full season. He’s still not a big scorer like linemates Matthews and William Nylander, but Hyman is the mucker who digs in the corners for loose pucks and complements those players. It’s fair to wonder if that brings out the very best in those highly-skilled linemates, but this is an established preference for Babcock, who operated similarly for years in Detroit.

After a 20-goal rookie season in 2016-2017, Connor Brown slipped to 14 goals last season, but the rest of his game wasn’t dramatically different. His ice time and shots per game were both down a little, but it’s still reasonable to expect Brown will fill a complementary role in the Toronto lineup.

When the Maple Leafs signed Matt Martin to a four-year contract as a free agent, it appeared regrettable from the moment the ink dried, and yet he was a regular in the lineup for a year-and-a-half before the Maple Leafs finally made some changes and then suddenly Martin couldn’t get back into the lineup, playing three games in the last two-and-a-half months. This doesn’t mean that Martin can’t fill a role, and maybe the Maple Leafs could find another team that would be more inclined to play Martin regularly, but it means that his physical presence doesn’t necessarily provide a great return on investment.

When Kasperi Kapanen earned his place in the Maple Leafs lineup, the injection of speed made the team more dangerous, and Kapanen could move up the depth chart more easily because he has the speed and skill to be more than a fourth-liner and penalty killer. Next season, he’ll have a chance to play from the start.

There’s a reasonable case to make that 25-year-old Josh Leivo is an NHL-calibre winger, as he’s put up 22 points in 57 career games, but he’s been kept in the press box so much that it’s hard to really know what he could do with a real opportunity. Nevertheless, he’s under contract for next season, so either the Maple Leafs can play him, keep him buried, or consider using him as an asset to deal.

One of the Maple Leafs’ strengths is that they have inexpensive prospects coming in the pipeline and that helps free up money to spend elsewhere. Andreas Johnssonseems assured of a spot on next year’s team after impressing in a late-season audition. Miro Aaltonen, Par Lindholm and Carl Grundstrom are some more forwards on entry-level deals that could earn a spot on the roster, or at least be a short cab ride away when needed.

Of course, the Maple Leafs have enough cap room to take a big swing in free agency and both John Tavares and John Carlson would fit various needs. Tavares is obviously the big prize in free agency this year and the Maple Leafs would surely love to bring him home. It would be expensive, but if Tavares wants to play in Toronto, the Maple Leafs can probably create the room to make it happen, and if it forces difficult decisions down the road, they can cross that proverbial bridge when they get to it.

If Toronto allows Leo Komarov to leave via free agency and manage to find a taker for Martin, they also might want to add a cheaper fourth-liner who could check and still play with some physicality. Maybe someone like J.T. Brown or Curtis McKenzie would do the trick.

 

RETURNING DEFENCEMEN

 
NAME GP G A PTS CF% RELCF% PDO OZS% ATOI 2018-19 CAP
Morgan Rielly 76 6 46 52 50.8 2.0 101.1 45.2 21:36 $5.0M
Jake Gardiner 82 5 47 52 49.4 -0.7 102.3 47.8 22:32 $4.05M
Ron Hainsey 80 4 19 23 47.7 -2.8 102.3 41.3 21:52 $3.0M
Nikita Zaitsev 60 5 8 13 47.4 -3.7 102.3 45.6 22:13 $4.5M
Travis Dermott 37 1 12 13 54.8 6.4 103.8 51.3 16:00 $863K
Connor Carrick 47 4 8 12 52.5 3.1 101.0 58.1 15:08 $750K
Andreas Borgman 48 3 8 11 50.2 0.6 102.3 55.5 13:41 $925K
 

 

FREE AGENT DEFENCEMEN

 
NAME GP G A PTS CF% RELCF% PDO OZS% ATOI 2017-18 CAP STATUS
Roman Polak 54 2 10 12 48.0 -1.3 100.5 40.7 17:39 $1.1M UFA
 

Given more of an offensive role in his fifth NHL season, 24-year-old Morgan Riellydelivered a career-high 52 points, with 25 coming on the power play. He’s a terrific skater and moves the puck well, but his defensive game isn’t necessarily where it needs to be if he’s going to be considered a top-tier defenceman. He may well be Toronto’s best defenceman, but it’s not really known if that’s going to be good enough get where they ultimately want to go.

Embedded ImageMorgan Rielly had a breakout season, putting up 52 points.

A smooth skater who frequently makes zone exits look easy, then later make an egregious turnover, Jake Gardiner has consistently generated positive shot differentials and, over the past two seasons, the Maple Leafs have outscored the opposition 140-104 at 5-on-5 with Gardiner on the ice.

That doesn’t sound like someone who should be under fire, but after an especially rough performance in a Game Seven loss against Boston, he doesn’t seem to have the steadiest footing in the organization. Gardiner is going into the last year of his contract and, given the deals that the team needs to get done elsewhere, he may be playing out that last year.

The Maple Leafs put a lot on 37-year-old Ron Hainsey, including asking him to spend about four minutes per game on the penalty kill. After a solid first month or so, his possession numbers dropped dramatically; perhaps an indication that he was being asked to do too much. The challenge for the Maple Leafs is finding someone to play the right side that will allow them to cut back on Hainsey’s ice time.

Signing Nikita Zaitsev to a seven-year deal after he had played one year in the NHL was a questionable decision, putting an optimistic spin on those first-year results, and last season wasn’t terribly encouraging for what lays ahead. The Maple Leafs outscored the opposition with Zaitsev on the ice, but he had the worst shot differentials among Toronto defencemen. Given their investment, Toronto had better hope he can handle a top-four role.

Calling up 21-year-old Travis Dermott gave the Maple Leafs another competent puck-moving defenceman. He rode ridiculous percentages (104.0 PDO) to have the Maple Leafs outscore opponents 28-13 with him on the ice at 5-on-5, but had oustanding possession stats (54.8 CF%, +6.4 CFRel%) too, so there is a lot of reason to be hopeful that the 2015 second-rounder will grow into a significant piece on the Toronto blueline.

He’s on the smaller side, and maybe that’s contributing to why he has a hard time securing a regular spot in the lineup, but Connor Carrick has had strong results (52.7 CF%, 53.1 GF%) in the limited role he’s received with the Maple Leafs. It wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to just give him a regular role and see if those results can hold up.

The Leafs kept Andreas Borgman around until the beginning of February, before sending him to the American Hockey League, and his results were fine – Toronto outshot and outscored the opposition with him on the ice. He adds a physical dimension and could be worth another look next season.

Toronto has signed 25-year-old Russian blueliner Igor Ozhiganov, a right shot defender who is 6-foot-2 and plays a physical game. If he transitions smoothly to North America, maybe he can be a part of the Maple Leafs defence corps.

Toronto has some other candidates for playing time coming from the AHL Marlies. Top prospect Timothy Liljegren is still just 19, but if he’s playing well next season, he could be ready for a look. Otherwise, Justin Holl or Andrew Nielsen, who both have multiple years of AHL experience, offer interesting depth possibilities.

 

RETURNING GOALTENDERS

 
NAME GP W L T SV% EV SV% 2018-19 CAP
Frederik Andersen 66 38 21 5 .918 .921 $5.0M
Curtis McElhinney 18 11 5 1 .934 .949 $850K
 

Frederik Andersen has been a very good goaltender for two seasons in Toronto, closer to outstanding if his Octobers of those seasons (during which he has a .889 save percentage) are thrown out of the equation.

Embedded ImageFrederik Andersen gives the Leafs a chance to win most nights.

Before joining the Maple Leafs, Curtis McElhinney was a clearly below-average goaltender. In 32 games for Toronto, though, he has a .925 save percentage, which is surprisingly above average performance. He’s still under contract for another year and, given that performance, it would be fine to keep him around, but they also might have more promising options.

Both Garret Sparks and Calvin Pickard could very well be NHL-calibre goaltenders. Sparks, 24, has been outstanding in the American Hockey League and is ready for the next level, whether it’s with the Leafs or another team. Pickard is a 26-year-old who has a .913 save percentage in 87 career NHL games, but somehow he was stuck in the AHL.

 

TOP PROSPECTS

 
PLAYER POS. GP G A PTS +/- TEAM (LEAGUE)
Timothy Liljegren D 44 1 16 17 +12 Toronto (AHL)
Carl Grundstrom RW 35 17 7 24 +8 Frolunda (SHL)
Andreas Johnsson LW 54 26 28 54 +16 Toronto (AHL)
Joseph Woll G 30       .915 Boston College (HE)
Jeremy Bracco RW 50 6 26 32 +6 Toronto (AHL)
Eemeli Rasanen D 61 5 28 33 +16 Kingston (OHL)
Garret Sparks G 43       .936 Toronto (AHL)
Andrew Nielsen D 65 6 20 26 +3 Toronto (AHL)
Dmytro Timashov LW 67 13 21 34 +5 Toronto (AHL)
Josh Leivo LW 16 1 3 4 0 Toronto (NHL)
Miro Aaltanen C 64 20 23 43 +29 Toronto (AHL)
Pierre Engvall LW 31 7 13 20 +12 HV71 Jonkoping (SHL)
Trevor Moore LW 68 12 21 33 +1 Toronto (AHL)
Yegor Korshkov RW 52 8 18 26 +4 Yaroslavl (KHL)
Igor Ozhiganov D 42 2 7 9 +12 CSKA Moscow (KHL)
Calvin Pickard G 33       .918 Toronto (AHL)
Adam Brooks C 57 8 11 19 +7 Toronto (AHL)
Justin Holl D 60 7 21 28 +23 Toronto (AHL)
Par Lindholm C 49 18 29 47 +18 Skelleftea (SHL)
Calle Rosen D 62 4 18 22 +1 Toronto (AHL)
 

 

PROJECTED 2018-2019 DEPTH CHART

LEFT WING CENTRE RIGHT WING
Zach Hyman Auston Matthews William Nylander
Patrick Marleau John Tavares* Mitch Marner
Andreas Johnsson Nazem Kadri Connor Brown
Kasperi Kapanen Miro Aaltonen J.T. Brown*
Josh Leivo Par Lindholm Carl Grundstrom
Trevor Moore Frederik Gauthier Pierre Engvall

 

LEFT DEFENCE RIGHT DEFENCE GOALTENDER
Morgan Rielly Ron Hainsey Frederik Andersen
Jake Gardiner Nikita Zaitsev Garret Sparks
Travis Dermott Connor Carrick Calvin Pickard
Andreas Borgman Igor Ozhiganov*  
Andrew Nielsen Justin Holl  

https://www.tsn.ca/off-season-game-plan-toronto-maple-leafs-1.1108034

 


 

 

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Toronto Maple Leafs Off-Season Report: Dubas must make a splash

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It’s go time, Toronto.

The mentors — Lou Lamoriello and Mark Hunter — have left the building, the one-round-and-bounce grace period is over, and the final vets lingering from two management groups ago (James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak, Leo Komarov… heck, even Joffrey Lupul’s LTIR payments) have paved a path for more Marlies graduates and freed up precious cap dollars to spend on defencemen and centres.

As anointed and empowered by the decisive Brendan Shanahan, 32-year-old GM Kyle Dubas — whose Marlies are on the brink of snapping five decades of pro hockey championship futility in Toronto — promoted cap whiz Brendon Pridham and hired ex-Canucks exec Laurence Gilman to help him boost this group from a jog to a sprint.

Turnover should spill beyond the front office this summer as franchise face Auston Matthews is eligible for an eight-year commitment that could hit nine figures, RFA William Nylander needs a juicy raise and a determination of whether he’ll transition from wing to centre, and fans are clamouring for a personnel upgrade on the blue line.

The Maple Leafs are young, exciting, and coming off their best regular-season performance in history. Wonderful.

Now is when they must start shaping into a real, complete Stanley Cup contender.

Salary Cap Space: $22.34 million

UFAs
James van Riemsdyk, left wing, $4.25 million
Tyler Bozak, centre, $4.2 million
Leo Komarov, left wing, $2.95 million
Tomas Plekanec, centre, $6 million
Dominic Moore, centre, $1 million
Roman Polak, defence, $1.1 million

RFAs
William Nylander, $894,000
Connor Carrick, $750,000
Andreas Johnsson, $750,833
Miro Aaltonen, $925,000
Justin Holl, $650,000
Calvin Pickard, $1 million
Martin Marincin, $1.25 million
Frederik Gauthier, $863,000

2018 draft picks: 1st, 2nd (SJ), 3rd (SJ), 4th, 5th, 7th (own), 7th (ANA)

Biggest off-season need

DEE-FENCE! Clap. Clap. DEE-FENCE!

Chant it like a basketball fan.

The offensively rich Maple Leafs can score with the best of ’em. Starter Frederik Andersen is one of the world’s top 10 goaltenders when he’s healthy and in the groove (and with three years and $15 million remaining on his deal, he isn’t going anywhere soon). So it’s no secret that Toronto’s greatest deficiency rests on the blue line — and that’s despite rolling out two 52-point D-men in their prime, Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner.

The Leafs ranked 12th in goals allowed in 2017-18 (2.8 per game), and that number swelled to an ugly four per outing during their seven-game playoff ouster by the Boston Bruins.

When you consider the Leafs’ penalty kill was about average and their 33.9 shots allowed per game ranked them 28th overall, and that no team giving up more shots even made the post-season, you realize how many mistakes Andersen (and backup Curtis McElhinney) masked.

Ron Hainsey’s 37-year-old legs can’t sustain all the weight in the defensive zone, and the only right-side defenceman Toronto has under contract for 2018-19 is Nikita Zaitsev, who, thus far, has failed to take the type of progressive stride his $31.5-million contract extension demands.

Trouble is, most of the minutes-munching, stay-at-home defenders available on the UFA market —Jack Johnson, Dan Hamhuis, John Moore, Nick Holden, Ian Cole, Calvin De Haan, Brandon Manning — are lefties who don’t exactly scream “Top pair!”

Dubas would have to cripple his cap for the best right shot out there, John Carlson, if the Washington QB is even interested in a move to Canada.

Thus, we’re thinking trade.

Possible Off-Season targets

Drew Doughty: A Norris champion and obvious game-changer. The Kings should offer Doughty, an Ontario native, a blank cheque to stay in L.A. before he hits free agency in 2019. But does Doughty, a Babcock favourite, look at the sluggish Kings’ Round 1 sweep by Vegas as a speed bump or a sign that his club’s championship window has shut?

Of course, we’re talking blockbuster here, and a proven performer like William Nylander or Kasperi Kapanen (plus more) would have to go.

Chris Tanev: The Toronto native plays a brand of selfless, gutsy defence the Leafs sorely need more of. New Leafs AGM Gillman knows the Vancouver player well. Tanev, 28, still has two years on his cap-friendly deal and holds a modified no-trade clause, but if the rebuilding Canucks are concerned they might ultimately lose Tanev, or that he’s becoming too injury-prone, they may be tempted to swap him for a package that includes one or two of the Leafs’ many young wing prospects or future picks. Vancouver needs more scorers.

 

https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/toronto-maple-leafs-off-season-report-dubas-must-make-splash/

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