Toronto Maple Leafs: Breaking Down the 2023-24 Blue-Line

Morgan Rielly #44 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates with the puck against the Florida Panthers during first period action in Game Three of the Second Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the FLA Live Arena on May 7, 2023 in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Morgan Rielly #44 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates with the puck against the Florida Panthers during first period action in Game Three of the Second Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the FLA Live Arena on May 7, 2023 in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
10 of 11
Next
Toronto Maple Leafs
General manager Brad Treliving of the Toronto Maple Leafs,  (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

Depth? There Isn’t Any

The Toronto Maple Leafs played games last year with Timothy Liljegren and Erik Gustafson in the press-box.

That made them, arguably, the deepest blue-line in the NHL.  I say arguable because even though no one was sitting anyone close to as good as those two, the Leafs were playing Luke Schenn and Justin Holl in their top-four.

Their blue-line, in last year’s playoffs, was horrible.  Only an improbable star-turn from Morgan Rielly made it palatable.

That can’t be counted on this year, and neither can the team’s depth.

Connor Timmins has done well in sheltered minutes, but clearly the coach has no trust in him.  He’s 24 and isn’t likely to turn into anything special.  If you have to play him, it’s fine, but if he can’t even beat out Klingberg and Giordano to become a regular in training camp, he might as well just retire.

As for Simon Benoit, he’s worse than Jordie Benn or Victor Mete from last year.  He’s worse than Klingberg and because he hits and plays tough he will likely get minutes – minutes in which he will be crushed because he is a bad player and signing him was a mistake.

I mean, he’s literally one of the most talented players alive in the world, just not compared to the players in the NHL.  He will likely be one of the AHL’s best players. I don’t have a single skill that is as good as Simon Benoit’s hockey skills, but unfortunately, that isn’t helpful when you’re trying to make a team that wants to win the Stanley Cup.

Clearly someone should have spoken up and told Brad Treliving that it wouldn’t be a good idea to re-assemble the 2022-23 Anaheim Mighty Ducks blue-line.