Toronto Maple Leafs Have Limited Window Before Re-Grouping

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 05: Gabriel Vilardi #42 of the Los Angeles Kings shoots the puck against Frederik Andersen #31 of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period at Staples Center on March 05, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 05: Gabriel Vilardi #42 of the Los Angeles Kings shoots the puck against Frederik Andersen #31 of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period at Staples Center on March 05, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Toronto Maple Leafs window to win is wide, wide open.

With Matthews, Marner, Nylander and Tavares locked into the team long term, the Toronto Maple Leafs are going to be an excellent hockey team for years.

They will have multiple chances to win the Stanley Cup.

But they may have already wasted their best chance, and their second-best chance is only good for one more season.

Toronto Maple Leafs Championship Window

The Leafs best chance to win was when Marner, Matthews and Nylander were all on their entry-level deals.

Unfortunately, the team wasted over $15 million in inefficient spending, on the likes of Ron Hainsey, Patrick Marleau and Nikita Zaitsev.

If the Leafs don’t end up winning a Cup with their current core, we’ll look back on the Patrick Marleau signing as perhaps the single most destructive move in team history.

The fact that this team went into the playoffs with a top-four blueline that was made up with 50% Hainsey and Zaitsev makes all complaints about the Leafs current blue-line laughable.

What a waste.

But their current window is wide open, and they are one of the best teams in the NHL right now.

The good news is that if Rasmus Sandin and Nick Robertson can be stars while they are still cheap the window will bust wide open again.

But that is hypothetical.

Going only on the thetical (*) the Leafs current situation is a bit more dicey.

Next year is going to their last kick at the can before major roster reconstruction is necessary.

Both Zach Hyman and Freddie Andersen will see their contracts expire next year.  Right now, both provide insane value on their mega-cheap deals.

Both players will be approaching their 30s and their inevitable decline.  They will both be in for the kind of raises that a smart team will be forced to walk away from.

Therefore, the Toronto Maple Leafs must do everything they can to win in the next two playoffs.  This year, in light of the pandemic, the Leafs look like geniuses for laying off making any big moves at the deadline.

Next year they’ve got to go for it.

They will be helped by getting Sandin and Robertson on their team for next to nothing, but they must make all their moves with an eye towards the fact that their star goalie and their heart and soul player will most likely be moving on.

Next. Most Likely To Be Traded. dark

The Leafs will have a chance to win for many seasons, but it will be harder when two of their best players aren’t combining for a paltry $7 million.

*best line ever.