Toronto Maple Leafs: Blood, Sweat, Tears, and the Same Results

Jack Campbell, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)
Jack Campbell, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports) /
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T.J. Brodie, Toronto Maple Leafs
T.J. Brodie, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) /

While the roster has changed, the Toronto Maple Leafs are the same.

As sports fans, we always want our teams to be champions every season. It results in an addictive, euphoric, and terrorizing mix of emotions throughout the regular and postseason. That is the best way to describe how the Toronto Maple Leafs fought their way through the ’20-’21 season.

As Leafs fans, we are accustomed to dealing with disappointments year after year.

Somehow, this time it feels even worse. I mean worse than marching back from being down 3-1 in a series, giving up a three-goal lead in the third, and ultimately losing in overtime.

Polishing the Toronto Maple Leafs Foundation

It was a busy offseason for general manager Kyle Dubas. He created cap space by trading away wingers Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson. That freed up $6.6 million, which would be needed to maintain, and add complementing pieces to put the team over the top.

Veteran Jason Spezza returned on a league-minimum deal and lured Joe Thornton to join him on an identical contract. While he is not as old, Wayne Simmonds added another veteran presence with some much-needed grit.

To help with the questions on the back end, Travis Dermott was brought back on a one-year deal worth $874K, T.J. Brodie signed a four-year contract paying $5 million annually, and Zach Bogosian joined the team on a one-year $1 million deal. They added physicality and defensive stability.

More depth pieces in Jimmy Vesey and Travis Boyd filled out the bottom lines. After an impressive ’19-’20 season, Dubas retained Ilya Mikheyev for another two years.

Even though those ten moves impacted the team, Dubas continued his work mid-season. That’s with the additions of wingers Alex Galchenyuk and Nick Foligno.

The Toronto Maple Leafs had their needs, and they were more than covered. Kyle Dubas could not have done a better job setting up the team for success. Now, it was up to the coaches and players to make it work on the ice.