As expected, Brad Treliving’s summer signings have not yielded positive results for the Toronto Maple Leafs so far.
Over the past seven years, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been a strong franchise. Originally led by Kyle Dubas briefly, then Lou Lamoriello, then Kyle Dubas again, and now Brad Treliving, the recent moves made by the most recent GM have been some of the worst in recent history.
When the Leafs fired Dubas during the summer, it wasn’t surprising to see him sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins just one week later because of the high regard he is held in as an executive.
Although the franchise never won a Stanley Cup and only managed to win one playoff round, Dubas set the team up not only for success over the last few years but also for many years to come. Consequently, it has been disappointing to observe how Treliving has spent the team’s cap space so unwisely.
We’ve discussed this issue extensively on this website, but it cannot be emphasized enough. Treliving spent $15 million as unwisely as one possibly could:
- Tyler Bertuzzi: $5 million
- John Klingberg: $4 million
- Max Domi: $3 million
- David Kampf: $2.4 million
- Ryan Reaves: $1.35 million
Let’s begin with Bertuzzi. He is certainly an enjoyable player to support, but in his four games, he hasn’t really clicked with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.
Matthews and Marner are two of the best 5v5 players in the NHL, yet Bertuzzi has failed to record an even-strength point, which is highly disappointing. As a result, Bertuzzi has been relegated to the bottom-six at times, in favor of Calle Jarnkrok, who has outperformed him on occasion.
Treliving Signings Have Been Huge Dissapointment for Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs most significant defensive signing was Klingberg, and he has performed exactly as expected.
We all knew he could contribute on the power-play, but we were also aware of his significant defensive shortcomings. He is a poor defender, and whenever he is on the ice, the opponent seems to create scoring opportunities. He should not be playing top-four minutes.
I won’t delve into Kampf and Reaves extensively because they have fulfilled their roles adequately, but they are still earning far too much money. Treliving probably shouldn’t have invested this much in them, considering they have had a negative impact on the team so far.
Lastly, we need to discuss Domi, whose performance could have gone in one of two directions. There was a possibility that he would return to the player he was with the Montreal Canadiens, where he scored 28 goals and was close to a point-per-game. However, instead, we have witnessed a player who is trying to live up to his father’s legacy.
Although his father, Tie Domi, wasn’t known for his goal-scoring, he was a fan favorite, adored in the city. It seems the spotlight has been too much for Max so far. He’s gripping the stick too tightly and is trying too hard when he needs to relax and let the game come to him. He appears lost, and like the four signings made by Treliving, has been a significant disappointment.
It’s only been four games, and the team is at a 2-2 record for the season, so it’s not as if the entire year is a write-off. However, there is significant concern that the Toronto Maple Leafs may have hired the wrong GM.
Perhaps all these players will perform better when the playoffs begin, but the team needs to reach that stage first. Based on the performance in the initial few games, there hasn’t been enough to assume that this team will automatically make the playoffs.