Even in the driest period of the offseason, there is still plenty to talk about when it comes to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
As always, the EIL staff have been working overboard to keep you informed of every angle. With so many articles hitting the, as the kids say, interwebs, it’s easy for some to slip through the cracks.
So, here are a few notable pieces from this past week.
Morgan Rielly Should Be Captain
The debate surrounding the Leafs captaincy has been raging all summer, primarily due to the discernable lack of team-related news since the Tavares signing. Here, Michael tackles it from a different perspective, giving his take on why Captain Morgan should finally live up to his nickname.
Give it a read.
“In five NHL seasons, Morgan Rielly has recorded 31 goals, 140 assists, and 171 points, making him the 15th highest scoring defenseman in franchise history according to Quanthockey.com.
This past year saw Rielly reach career bests in assists (46) and points (52). He was one of only16 50 point defenseman in the NHL, and one of only three to record 50 points and a positive relative Corsi while playing top competition (along with Hedman and Doughty).
Additionally, Rielly is the third longest-serving active Leaf, currently at 388 games played according to NHL.com, behind only Nazem Kadri and Jake Gardiner.
If you watched the Road to the Winter Classic, or have ever seen Rielly in front of a microphone, it’s clear that he’s a great choice for captain, as he’s clearly already established a leadership role within the team.”
The Trade the Leafs Should Make
Do I agree with this next article? No. Not even in the slightest. Any arguments for trading Nazem Kadri, who the Leafs have signed to arguably the most team-friendly deal in the league, is ludicrous.
Then again, it’s important to open your mind to new perspectives. No one can grow while living their life with blinders on, and James’ piece is certainly a new take.
Have an open mind and take a gander.
“First of all, with Tavares and Matthews as his 1-2 centres, Babcock isn’t going to cut into their ice-time to try and get a ‘shut-down’ line out against other team’s best lines for the Leafs 41 home games. Tavares and Matthews will dominate most other team’s top lines, so this isn’t going to be an issue. Therefore, what the Leafs should want is to have at least one excellent defensive winger to pair with one of their star centres.
Secondly, Kadri, while an excellent player, can be instantly replaced by moving William Nylander into his natural centre position. This not only allows the Leafs to deal strength for weakness, but extending Nylander long-term as a centre is a much better investment than doing so as a winger.”
What to Expect From Tyler Ennis
Tyler Ennis is one of the most intriguing signings this summer. If he can somehow return to his 20-goal days as a Sabre, the Leafs will have an effective winger on their fourth line at a league minimum cap hit.
One of our newest writers, Matthew, takes a look at what Ennis could bring in 2018-19.
“Ennis was actually a very interesting pickup this off-season and looking at his past production, we might actually be able to pry some good things out of him.
Drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in 2008, Ennis put up 20 goals and 49 points in 82 games in his first full NHL season. Although he slowed down for a couple of seasons, the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons saw Ennis consistently put up over 20 goals on some very weak Buffalo Sabres teams. It might be helpful to note that during these seasons, he actually led the Sabres in goals.
He had shown a good amount of promise early on in his career, and he definitely has the natural skill to really breakout. But what went wrong in his career?”
Thanks for reading! Keep your eyes peeled to EIL as training camp inches closer and closer.