Toronto Maple Leafs: Brad Treliving Can Still Win Fans Over

Jun 1, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CANADA; Toronto Maple Leafs new general manager Brad Treliving is introduced by club president Brendan Shanahan (left) at a press conference at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 1, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CANADA; Toronto Maple Leafs new general manager Brad Treliving is introduced by club president Brendan Shanahan (left) at a press conference at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Toronto Maple Leafs celebrated the 20 year anniversary of John Ferguson Jr by seemingly hiring his doppelganger.

That may seem harsh, but that’s my take on new Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving:  he is the Leafs worst manager since the fabled JFJ.

Treliving can still win me over, but he’s off to a terrible start.

The thing is though, I’m not hard to impress – if he succeeds, I’ll love him.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Brad Treliving Can Still Win Fans Over

Treliving’s mistake – as I see it – was a lack of patience.  He had ten expiring contracts and could have had a ton of cap space, but he wanted to put an immediate mark on the team.

This was unwise, but he does get a lot of credit for keeping the length of the contracts he handed out to a minimum.

That said, there is no excuse for giving David Kampf four years or Ryan Reaves three years.  A professional hockey manager should damn well know better than that and it’s very concerning for the future of the Toronto Maple Leafs that they gave out these deals.

It’s not that they’re so bad in and of themselves, it’s the thinking behind them that’s concerning.  The Leafs have so successfully managed their salary cap in the Auston Matthews Era by avoiding these exact type of deals.

Now some people probably don’t see the last four year’s as successful, but no team in Toronto Maple Leafs history has a higher winning percentage over a four year period (at least not since expansion).

I’ve seen people try to put every sort of spin on the Leafs summer, but it was just flat-out horrible.  Treliving spent $20 million and all he got for it was Tyler Bertuzzi, a guy who has 8 goals over his last 50 NHL games.

The rest of the signings range from misguided to down-right idiotic.

However, if Treliving is the kind of person who can adjust on the fly, there is still hope for him.  If Klingberg and Domi aren’t working out by March, they can be moved.  If the blue-line proves as bad as I assume it will, he can still make changes.

And of course, we haven’t seen how he’ll manage being over the cap or what he’ll do to get compliant.

He also hasn’t even made a trade.

Next. Top 5 Defenseman in the NHL. dark

Brad Treliving got of to about as bad a start as it would be possible for him to have, but he’s still got a couple years to win me over before Brandon Pridham is promoted.

I hope he wins me over.  I just am not counting on it.