No. 3: John Gibson
I am well aware of Brad Treliving's shortcomings as a GM, which is why John Gibson's name finds a place on this list. If the team were under a more competent executive, I might not include his name. However, considering the current management, it's imperative to discuss Gibson.
Gibson's performance has been subpar for about five years, but he has been stuck on an Anaheim Ducks team undergoing a rebuild. Is it fair to attribute his struggles solely to him? Playing devil's advocate, I would explore this angle because, at one point, he was considered one of the NHL's best goalies.
Between 2015 and 2018, Gibson was exceptional, and he hadn't even reached his prime. Typically, goalies peak between 28 and 34 years old, yet Gibson posted impressive numbers well before entering that age range. At 30 years old now, he seems older due to his early success.
Perhaps a change of scenery could rejuvenate Gibson. After spending his entire career with the same organization, on a losing team with no expectations, it's easy to coast. Despite earning $6.4 million AAV, and undoubtedly giving his best effort, a different environment, like Toronto, might push him to strive even harder.
While the Leafs may hesitate due to Gibson's long-term deal, it's not entirely ruled out. The allure of being on a roster with Stanley Cup contention potential in Toronto might be the catalyst for a change in mindset. This shift in perspective is what one can hope for with Gibson.