5. Will head coach Sheldon Keefe be able to finally take the team to another level?
For Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe, he had been leading the team behind the bench since November of 2019 when he replaced the legend Mike Babcock.
Since then, the Leafs have had great success during the regular season, usually finishing among the top ten in the league each year.
However, he has been unable to take the Leafs to the next level, having only one playoff round win to show for in the past five years.
Many were expecting when former Leafs GM Kyle Dubas wasn’t returning to the team for the 2023-24 season, Keefe’s days as the team’s head coach were numbered.
However, even with a new GM at the helm, Keefe has now been signed to a two-year extension, give him two extra lives to lead the Leafs to the Holy Grail.
Will proceeding with the same coaching style actually help the team in the long run, or could it perhaps backfire as his repeated style could become stale and potentially losing the locker room in the process?
The first couple of months of the season should provide a good sample size of whether or not the move was the right thing to do, as he will have the opportunity to incorporate the newly signed players into his system to see how things go.
But if things were to fail, he should be careful as he may see himself in the hot seat once again with the stakes running high.