Toronto Maple Leafs Roundtable: Roster Cut Mistakes

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 07: The Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate after an NHL hockey game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Chicago Blackhawks on October 07, 2018, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. Toronto won in overtime 7-6. (Photo By Daniel Bartel/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 07: The Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate after an NHL hockey game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Chicago Blackhawks on October 07, 2018, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. Toronto won in overtime 7-6. (Photo By Daniel Bartel/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, ON – JANUARY 2: Connor Carrick #8 of the Toronto Maple Leafs battles for the puck against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at the Air Canada Centre on January 2, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Michael Mazzei

After seeing the Leafs 23-man roster, I feel pretty satisfied with all of the decisions the team has made regarding who they want on the big club.

Given that they could only do so much with William Nylander’s contract dispute and the Connor Carrick trade, they did fine with what they had. If I were to nitpick one thing I would change with their roster to start the 2018-19 season, I would have not put Frederik Gauthier on the team. Instead, I would have Trevor Moore in his place.

For starters, Gauthier hasn’t done enough to prove he can be a legitimate NHL player. This preseason alone saw him not record a single point in three games. On the Calder Cup winning Marlies, he was regularly used as their 4th line centre. Even then, the results have been a mixed bag at best. Meanwhile, Moore has been very impressive this preseason and has demonstrated he can be an impactful player in the NHL. He recorded 2 points in 5 games and played some time alongside John Tavares and Mitch Marner.

Moore would have been a perfect fit for the 4th line spot, which Gauthier appears to be in, given his current status as a player. A potential line with him, Par Lindholm, and Kasperi Kapanen/Andreas Johnsson would have been fun to watch. Perhaps the biggest reason for me wanting this switch is that Moore is exempt from waivers. Once Nylander’s contract is taken care of and he is ready to return to the lineup, Moore can easily be assigned back to the Marlies.

With Gauthier, he has to pass through waivers and there’s the risk of him being claimed from another team should there be interest in his services. In short, swapping Gauthier with Moore would be the one change I make regarding the Leafs 23-man roster.