The Toronto Maple Leafs are definitely a cup contender – as they have been for the last four years (minimum).
In fact, you’d never know it by the online dialogue, but the Toronto Maple Leafs have just had the best four years in their franchise history.
For an original six team that is about 100 years old, that’s pretty impressive.
But we are so unimpressed by anything short of a Stanley Cup winner that basically no one cares. It’s really quite intellectually depressing – the NHL has 32 teams and only one of them can win the Cup in any given year. On top of that, the NHL Playoffs are a whacky, random tour through the hell that is variance – goalies, injuries and random luck decide who wins far more than players and GMs do.
Since this is indisputable, it would make sense to appreciate teams who are consistently good in the regular season, recognize when they get unlucky and appreciate all the hard work they do, and the never-give-up work-ethic they exhibit (this group of Leafs are the masters of the comeback – look it up!).
That obviously doesn’t happen, and even though Kyle Dubas is arguably the best GM in Toronto Maple Leafs history, he’s basically persona non grata at this point. The team stopped being at the cutting edge of progressive hockey innovation and turned to a prototypically generic hockey-guy and people love it.
If that’s not enough, there is a hilarious irony at work with this year’s Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Hilarious Irony of This Year’s Toronto Maple Leafs
After years of hearing about how Mitch Marner or John Tavares are slightly overpaid and how $10 million would be so much better than $11 million etc. After hearing about how the Leafs should pay Nylander $9 million but draw the line at $10, the Leafs now have the most ridiculously overpaid fourth line in the NHL.
Ryan Reaves whose tough-guy image is going to help the team so much that Corey Perry had no problem throwing an elbow to someone’s head and then scoring the game-winning goal the other night, makes $1.35 million, while David Kampf makes $2.4. That is almost $2 million more than the league minimum.
Keep in mind that these players routinely lose their minutes and that outside of intangibles, everything they do which can be tracked actually shows they help the Leafs lose more than they win.
There is something hilarious about the NHL’s worst fourth line making more money than the amount a significant amount of Leafs fans/media complains is unacceptable about giving to their special, all-time-best in franchise history players.
In addition, John Klingberg makes $4 million, Max Domi makes $3 million and Jake McCabe makes $2 million dollars. That’s $9 million for the same value (maybe less, actually) than you’d get for a random 3 rookies at the league minimum.
What should be clear is that if you pay the bottom of your roster in line with what they actually achieve, there is no limit to what you can pay your star players. The complaints about Mitch Marner or John Tavares making an extra million have now been proven to be among the silliest most ridiculous complaints ever made about anything in human history.
Turns out Kyle Dubas wasn’t so bad at negotiating deals. Turns out every single huge contract he gave out was a massive success. You can’t same the same thing about Trelving who instantly brought the Leafs back 20 years into the past.
It’s just too bad he looks like Al Bundy and not Doc Brown.