Toronto Maple Leafs Mid-Season Most Valuable Player

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 18: Justin Abdelkader
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 18: Justin Abdelkader /

Thirty-Seven games into the season and the budding Toronto Maple Leafs are tied for second in their division. 

With such favorable results almost half way through the season there are many players who should be in consideration for the Toronto Maple Leafs MVP.  But only one can get the honour.

Honour Roll

Frederick Andersen. After another ugly October, Freddy has come back with a vengeance.  His numbers are outstanding, and he has  single-handily won a few games for the Blue and White this season.  Something we could not say about a goaltender in Toronto in over a decade.

Andersen deserves an honorable mention for his stable presence in the net giving the team confidence in front of him.

Auston Matthews. Matthews has gotten even better defensively this season than he was last year and has earned a great amount of trust from Babcock.  Not only has he kept pace offensively this year as he did last year, Babcock is using him at the end of games in the defensive zone when they are trying to hold a lead.  This was a role we saw Bozak and Kadri take last year, and Boyle at the end of the season.

Auston deserves an honorable mention because he is about as consistent of a player as the Maple Leafs have. And…well, he’s Auston ___ Matthews.


And the winner of this years 37 games into the season Most Valuable Player (an award too stupid to have ever been given out before) goes to…Ron Hainsey!

More from Editor In Leaf

No, I do not have that concussion that Matthews had.  Ron Hainsey is Toronto’s MVP after 37 games.

Ron Hainsey is far from the best player on the team, but he is the most valuable.  Hainsey has played more PK minutes in the entire league than anyone else, by far, and he plays a game that allows Morgan Rielly to play his, which leads to a more balanced Maple Leafs roster we have seen in many years.

Without Hainsey, the Leafs would be playing Rielly (or worse, Polak) on the PK four to six minutes a night. That is good for at least two more game losses throughout the season, easily. With Rielly on the PK, he couldn’t get the PP time that he is getting and he wouldn’t be having a career year offensively.

Speaking of career year offensively, Rielly is doing that on both the PP and 5v5.  No chance this would be the case with any other current Leafs defenseman on his side 5v5.  This is not even considering the domino effect that this would cause.  Imagine Morgan Rielly on the PK (ouch), therefore he wouldn’t be on the PP (who would take his place, Carrick? ouch again).

Without Ron Hainsey playing as good as he is, the Maple Leafs fall apart because they are too thin to fill in that top 2D position without severe negative side effects.

Next: Toronto Maple Leafs Top Prospects Christmas Rankings

In short, Ron Hainsey has allowed Morgan Rielly to play the minutes he deserves and has earned, and the domino effect of him being off the roster would lead to a defensive core that is grossly inept leading to a middle of the pack NHL team. Instead they find themselves in a strong position heading into the second half of the 2017-18 season.