Maple Leafs: A Comprehensive Guide to an Insufferable Summer.

Jack Campbell, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)
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Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, ON – FEBRUARY 29: Alexander Kerfoot #15 of the Toronto Maple Leafs   (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Addressing the 7 open slots

Internal options

Will Dubas resign any of his free agents?  Here’s my take on the possibility regarding some key contributors.

Zach Hyman – No.  I absolutely love Hyman as a player, and this sounds nuts, but I don’t think he’s coming back.  With his injury history, is he worth 5-6 mill on a long-term deal?  With a flat cap?  And keeping the other big 4 forwards?  I just don’t see it.

I don’t blame Hyman a lick.  He’s earned it.  I’ll wish him well if he’s gone and thank him for his outstanding service.

Jason Spezza – Yes.  All the way yes.  Spezza will retire a Leaf and join the team in some kind of coaching or scouting capacity.

Alex Galchenyuk – No.  It’s definitely possible, but I just think some other team will offer him more than the 1 mill/yr that Dubas will be comfortable with.

Nick Foligno – Yes.  This is my hot take of the article right here.  Well, technically I need to give credit to Chris Johnston for mentioning this on the latest SDP.  He made us all gasp by saying there may be a chance he comes back on a short term deal.  Unfinished business and all.  Yup…my fingers are crossed.  A Hyman replacement.

Zach Bogosian – Yes.  1-2 million range on a short-term deal would be a perfect fit for this team.  He was much better than people thought he was going to be, and he was good in the playoffs as well.  I hope he comes back.

Ben Hutton – Yes.  He could be the 7th defenseman next year.  He kind of fits that role perfectly.

Are there young players ready to step up?

Rasmus Sandin – Yes.  He’s got a spot in the top 6.  Some people think he can move up but I really don’t think he’s ready yet.  He’s a year away from being able to handle top 4 minutes in my opinion.  Might work out perfectly for when the Leafs don’t resign Rielly (oops…did I say that?).

Timothy Liljegren – No.  I haven’t seen enough from him to suggest he’s ready to be a regular on a contending team.  He’ll get in some games if there are injuries, but I think he gets top minutes for the Marlies again.

Nick Roberston – Depends.  I’m cheating here, but I’ve heard mixed reports on this guy.  Some think he’s going to play in the top 6 next season and there are some people in the organization that think he needs another year in the AHL.  He only played in 21 AHL games, scoring 5 goals, and sustained a concussion late in the year.

Personally, I need to see him in training camp and exhibition games before I have an opinion.  He’s only played 10 NHL games so there hasn’t really been a lot to evaluate.  He definitely needs better balance, and that comes with maturity and off-season training.

Joey Anderson – Yes.  Speed and a “work boots” game.  I think he plays in the bottom 6 next year.

Filip Hallander – Depends.  Cheating again.  This time it depends on what kind of moves Dubas makes.  If he’s really tight against the cap, then I think Hallander makes this team.  He’s smart and a real competitive two-way player that’s very decisive with good instincts.  The kid can play.  But, he turns 21 this summer and another year of development wouldn’t be a bad thing.  I think Dubas would rather fill a spot with an NHL player instead.