3 Big-Name UFAs the Toronto Maple Leafs Must Avoid Re-Signing

Toronto Maple Leafs (Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports)
Toronto Maple Leafs (Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
Dec 1, 2018; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Kyle Dubas addressed the media before the start of the game against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.  Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports /

Even the clubs who hoist any Stanley Cup are forced to make some tough offseason decisions. So it should come as no surprise when teams who failed to reach that level of success, like this year’s Toronto Maple Leafs, also face roster revisions of their own.

While many have been quick to call for a complete overhaul of the Maple Leafs organization after their disappointing conclusion to the 2020-21 campaign, that’s clearly an overreaction.

Fans have every right to be upset that their favorite team didn’t get the job done, but suggesting solutions that are based on irrational judgement is not going to put them in any better of a position to win next season.

Instead, let’s all take a breath and review what went wrong as objectively as possible. It’s now in the hands of those who get paid to make these types of decisions. They certainly have some important ones to consider and recent results should factor into their thinking.

The Cost of Free Agency

As they entered their offseason, Toronto had 10 unrestricted free agents awaiting contract talks. In short, players in that scenario are then able to let the best bid guide where they end up next.

While some may hope to see a return to the lineup they were just part of, others use free agency as an opportunity to take their talents elsewhere.

Generally, the player has more power when in this particular scenario. The world is their oyster, so to speak. And while that may be true for those who recently called themselves a Maple Leaf, it’s actually in management’s best interest to just avoid that conversation with a select few altogether.

It’s not a knock on these respective athletes’ abilities or a claim that any are incapable of being an impact player wherever they end up. The reality is just that these particular stars have seen their shine fade in Toronto.

There is a clear expectation out of this current Maple Leafs roster and everyone that has any part of it needs to align accordingly. Unfortunately, the traits that make up these three free agents just aren’t going to cut it in this city any longer.