10 Best Remaining NHL UFAs for the Toronto Maple Leafs

Pius Suter #24 of the Detroit Red Wings (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Pius Suter #24 of the Detroit Red Wings (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
Phil Kessel #8 of the Vegas Golden Knights celebrates the Stanley Cup victory over the Florida Panthers in Game Five of the 2023 NHL Stanley Cup Final (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

9 – Phil Kessel

It would be incredible to bring Phil Kessel back to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He remains one of the best players to ever play for the organization and was even given a tip of the cap when the Leafs revealed their Top 100 players back in 2016. Kessel was listed as the organization’s 48th best of all-time.

There has been talk about the possibility of Kessel returning to Toronto. Much maligned and treated unfairly by the Toronto media, Kessel would be a hero to fans if he were to rejoin the Leafs.

While he played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Kessel’s skill and penchant for scoring were always on display. He spent six years with the franchise and was the team’s scoring leader every one of them.

Since leaving the Buds, Kessel has enjoyed far more team success. He was a part of two Stanley Cup winning Pittsburgh Penguins teams. He also helped the Vegas Golden Knights capture their first title, by winning the Cup again this past season.

With the Knights, Kessel played a full compliment of 82 games where he notched 14 goals and 22 helps. It gave him a sum of 36 points, which was a big drop off from the previous year’s total of 52 points with the Arizona Coyotes. Perhaps, playing with the talent on the current Leafs team, Kessel’s offensive numbers could rise once again.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear as though Kessel is overly interested in returning to the Big Smoke. The sniper has never given any indication that he would like to participate in a reunion and has appeared to be happy playing outside of Toronto.