The Toronto Maple Leafs offseason was extremely busy, and overall, quite terrible.
The Toronto Maple Leafs fired their GM for no reason, replaced him with a much worse manager, wasted a lot of money on bad players who they didn’t need (Ryan Reaves, Max Domi, John Klingberg).
Additionally, while the Leafs did sign Matthews, it wasn’t for eight years, and Nylander is still unsigned.
The best thing the Leafs did this summer was probably that they didn’t sign Ryan O’Reilly or Luke Schenn to massive extensions, even though losing them (and Holl, Kerfoot and especially Bunting) is going to make them a much worse team enter this new season.
They also signed Tyler Bertuzzi, which is great, but no one really seems to want to remember that he scored just eight times in 51 games before scoring on a quarter of his shots in the playoffs (a series his team lost).
That’s your summer re-cap, here’s what you can expect for this week.
Expect the Toronto Maple Leafs to Do 2 Things This Week
The Toronto Maple Leafs need some good press and some good vibes. They also can’t have this William Nylander thing hanging over their heads all season long.
That is why I fully expected Nylander to sign a contract this week. That is one of my two predictions for the first week of September.
The second thing I think the Leafs are going to this week is make a trade to fix their blue-line.
They cannot hope to enter a season where Jack McCabe is not only their most physical player on their blue-line, but the only physical player on their blue-line.
That would be insanity.
Rielly, Brodie, Liljegren, Giordano and Klingberg are way too soft and weak as a combo when your toughest guy is Jake McCabe (who, I might add, was absolutely BRUTAL in the last year’s playoffs).
Sure, the Leafs signed Simon Benoit, and he is a physical player, but he’s also horrible. He is legitimately one of the worst players in the NHL. He cannot be a regular on a good team.
The Leafs blue-line has no elite players, one physical player, no depth (Timmins and Benoit do not constitute “depth” in any way, shape or form) and very little upside. With no prospects thought to be forcing their way on to the team, what you see also has very little upside.
Rielly, Brodie, Giordano, Klingberg and McCabe are what you see. The youngest of those guys is 28 and you don’t get better at that age.
Timothy Liljegren could have some upside, but he’s 25 and that’s usually as good as you’re getting, the coach doesn’t trust him, and while he’s decent, nothing about him screams “Top Pairing Superstar.”
So I predict the Toronto Maple Leafs sign Nylander this week and make a trade to fix their blue-line. They almost don’t have a choice.