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

Toronto Maple Leafs (Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports)
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Nick Foligno, Toronto Maple Leafs
May 20, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nick Foligno (71)   Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Nick Foligno

While it might have seemed as though Dubas was done increasing Toronto’s average age after he added so much more of it prior to the 2020-21 season, he obviously felt more was needed to push through this year’s playoffs.

With that said, who better to help them get further than they have in decades than the captain of the team that stopped them from even starting a run in 2020? Enter, 33-year-old Nick Foligno.

Again, another move I wasn’t sold on. Foligno just didn’t feel like a good fit. I respect his passion for the game, the physicality he brings to a roster, and how important he’s been to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Yet, that doesn’t mean his skill set was somehow the missing piece to this lineup’s puzzle.

His role in last year’s series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets went beyond the three points he earned that round. Helping limit 2019-20’s second-best offense to only 10 goals through five contests is what made Foligno an effective force. His 22 hits helped, too.

The price Dubas paid to pick up the potential rental indicated that he felt Foligno could fill a void for Toronto. Despite an unforeseen injury hampering Foligno’s ability to play every game, one point, one block, and seven hits through an average ice time of just over 14:00 isn’t a very good return on investment. Instead of throwing more money away, Dubas needs to let Foligno walk.

Next. Toxic Maple Leafs Fans Need a Reality Check. dark

It goes without saying that Toronto won’t be in the market to re-sign every one of their UFAs waiting to see where they’ll end up next. Even if they wanted to, that’s an implausible expectation. With that, crossing these three off their list is a start towards getting to those they should actually consider keeping around.