John Klingberg and Ryan Reaves joined the Toronto Maple Leafs this past summer for two different reasons and under two different deals.
The reasons being the misguided Toronto Maple Leafs management thought they needed an “enforcer” and “power-play specialist” on the back-end.
Despite neither player actually filling those roles throughout the beginning of this season, the one thing the two have shared in common is that they were both almost immediately one of the worst signings in the history of the franchise, which’s had tons of historically bad signings.
Following a horrendous team game against the Ottawa Senators in which Klingberg was on the ice for three goals while Reaves was on the ice for one, the Leafs were forced to ask themselves some hard questions and both players were benched this weekend.
Enough Is Enough From These 2 Toronto Maple Leafs Players
The team overall has looked abysmal since the start of the year, and a large part of that is that both players are hurting the team whenever they play.
Starting with the $4 million defensemen who have just five assists, and zero goals in 11 games, enough is enough. Klingberg, who also has just two power-play assists despite being signed to enhance the team’s power-play, has been horrendous defensively to the point where fans gasp every time they see him on the defensive zone.
The team has struggled mightily to find a partner for Klingberg as well, with last game Mark Giordano stepping into that role, looking the worst he has all season. Although the Leafs will be heading to Klingberg’s hometown of Sweden following the teams first back-to-back of the season this weekend, Klingberg should not make the trip and his time as a Leaf should more than certainly come to an end.
Next on the list is the “enforcer” in Reaves, who get’s quotations around that word because he’s been nothing but an idea compared to actually doing anything to fix the teams lack of toughness issues.
On the books for another two seasons after this, Reaves has become more known for goals against than fights had, having played just seven minutes a night and somehow leading the team in negative plus/minus. The hits are a good thing, but the hits do not equal production, as the player has yet to record a point despite not missing a game this season.
Not only that, Reaves has recorded just two fights on the season, coming in the first two games despite there being several reasons to show aggression and bite since then, most notably in the game against the Boston Bruins.
As for what they could do with the player, the Leafs could either buyout Reaves, which would cost the Leafs $450,000 a year for the next four seasons, or attempt to put him on waivers hoping for a team to claim him and if unsuccessful, bury a $1.35 million contract with the Toronto Marlies for the next three seasons.
With either Reaves or Klingberg on the ice, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been outscored 8-21, while outscoring teams 18-10 when they’re sitting on the bench. Although this may not solve all the problems for the 2023-24 Toronto Maple Leafs, it’s always good to start somewhere and that answer has to be cutting ties with two of the worst signings in Leaf history.