There has never been a better time to be a Toronto Maple Leafs fan.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are on the rise, their GM and coach are at the leading edge of the industry, and their rebuild couldn’t have been more successful, short of winning an accidental early Stanley Cup.
Ironically, despite being one of the NHL’s best teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs get no love.
All of the league’s media outlets are afraid of showing a Toronto-centric bias, so they are harder on the team than need be. Half of the team’s fans are sensitive about overrating their team, an accusation they’ve lived with for decades, while the other half just hates themselves for liking the Leafs in the first place.
And to top it off, the GM, Kyle Dubas, is going against traditional NHL thinking in several key ways (more on that tomorrow) which has led to push-back from a media that still lamely attempts to trade William Nylander on daily basis, and from the team’s own fans who don’t mind losing for 50 straight years, they just want to do it the “right” way (i.e with less skill, more size, and ideally Mark Hunter in charge for reasons inexplicable to a logical person).
If this were another franchise, you can guarantee people would be asking if this team was building a dynasty. It would be one of the main topics of conversation in the NHL – much like how everyone talks about Colorado despite the Leafs superior roster and system.
So I’ll ask the question everyone else should be:
Are the Toronto Maple Leafs Building a Dynasty?
Morgan Rielly is 26 and the oldest of the team’s young core.
If this were any other franchise with these seven players, people would get sick of the word “Dynasty.”
Add in an all-star goalie, Hall of Famer John Tavares, and a group of secondary players only a salary cap running genius could have assembled (Kerfoot, Hyman, Johnsson, Kapanen, Dermott, Barrie, Muzzin, Mikheyev) and it’s clear the Toronto Maple Leafs are approaching having the best roster of the salary cap era.
We really don’t talk enough about how they took a legacy team, with a veteran Cup winning roster to game seven two years in a row. That doesn’t get framed in a positive light nearly enough.
We don’t about how they’ve drastically out-performed their goaltending this year and finished 8th overall under their new coach despite the shoddy goaltending and a comical amount of injuries.
This team is on the verge of something special. You can call me a homer if you want – I write on a Leafs fan website afterall – but remember that I’ve ripped this team for years when they were bad. I would happily write about how bad they are screwing up, if that’s what I thought. Believe me, I would take less harassment if I followed my emotions and ignored the evidence like most vocal fans of the team do.
The Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t just set up to compete for a Cup for the next five years, they are set up for absolute domination.
In five years, everyone reading this and scoffing now will have to say I was right all along. The Toronto Maple Leafs are building a dynasty, and the rest of the NHL better look out.