NHL GMs Go Nuts, Toronto Maple Leafs Sit Out Craziest Day Ever

Zach Hyman, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports)
Zach Hyman, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t won a Stanley Cup in over 50 years, and they have recently made a habit out of blowing big leads and getting bounced in the first round of the playoffs.

Even though I think context and luck really explain the Toronto Maple Leafs recent fortunes, even an optimist like me has to admit they are a laughing stock among their NHL peers right now.

I wrote about this a couple of weeks ago when the Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators each made a move so inherently stupid that I felt it made the Leafs less of a joke.

This is an objective fact: When Ottawa hired Pierre McGuire, and when the Oilers traded assets (instead of being paid to take the contract) for Duncan Keith the Leafs were passed in the “biggest joke” standings.

I didn’t think other teams were going to race to make the Leafs look good, but that is what has happened.  NHL teams continue to make moves so stupid that any random fan running their team would be likely to do a better job.

Let’s break it down.

What the $$$$$$$ Were they Thinking?

The Vancouver Cancuks, not content to let Edmonton or Ottawa take the reins as “worst run Canadian franchise,”  made a trade so horrible it’s hard to fathom.  They took on one of the worst contracts in the NHL in Oliver Ekman-Larsson a former top-pairing defenseman who in recent years has been more or less replacement level.

You’d thinking getting out of three terrible contracts would automatically be a win for Vancouver, but somehow they came out even worse.   They paid the 9th overall pick and screwed their salary cap up for almost a decade.  It took less than a month for someone to top the Duncan Keith trade, after it took almost five years for anyone to top the Taylor Hall Trade.

This is an A+ for the Coyotes and an F for the Canucks.

Worse still are the Flyers. They sent the 13th overall pick to the Sabres, along with a second rounder, for Rasmus Ristolainen, a  player who has a huge cap hit and is also barely a replacement player.  Add in what the Flyers paid to get out of the Shane Gostisbehere contract (he is ironically better than Ristolainen) and it’s a move so incomprehensible you’d think the Flyers GM was auditioning for the role of Oilers GM.

This is an F for the Flyers and a trade so good for the Sabres you almost have to make up a new grade above A+.

Not to be outdone, the Blackhawks for some reason paid a first, two seconds and Adam Boqivst (a good young defenseman) to the Jackets for the massively overrated Seth Jones, then turned around and gave him one of the single worst contracts in the history of the NHL.  That’s an F for the Blackhawks too.

The Rangers also trade a very strong first liner, Pavel Buchnevich, to the Blues for some garbage. Maybe not terrible on the same level as the other trades, but still very much an idiotic move.

And to cap off the craziness, we come full circle to the Oilers, who are set to sign and overpay chronically injured thirty-year-old Zach “David Clarkson” Hyman to a bizarre seven years deal that all but shuts the window on any hope to win while Connor McDavid is in his prime.

Next. Leafs Top 10 Prospects. dark

The Oilers, Rangers, Blackhawks, Flyers, Senators and Canucks have all made incomprehensible moves this summer so far, and we haven’t even gotten to free-agency yet.  The Toronto Maple Leafs, meanwhile, have been quiet, but are getting better just by doing nothing.