3 Players Toronto Maple Leafs Should Not Re-Sign in Free Agency

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Seven
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Seven / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have a lot of questions regarding free agency this offseason.

When GM Brad Treliving took over the job last June, he wanted to get tougher and change the identity of the team. Fast-forward one year later and the team performed the exact same way it has during the Auston Matthews Era and nothing changed.

Were the Leafs a tougher team this year? I mean, maybe? They were near the top of the NHL in hits during the playoffs, but that statistic really mean anything?

For years, people valued hitting because everyone thought it meant you were tough to play against. However, in today's NHL, if you lead the league in hits, it just means you don't have the puck enough and you're probably not going to score enough goals to win.

The Leafs laid a lot of hits, but they scored only 12 goals. Perhaps trying to become a stereotypical playoff team isn't the way to go when you've put all your eggs in the same basket of offensively gifted players.

There's physical toughness and mental toughness and although their "physicality" technically improved this year, mentally they stayed the same.

Auston Matthews has the same amount of skill as Sidney Crosby, but Crosby is the greatest player of the past 20 years because of his mental toughness and unwillingness to lose. Crosby would never let his team lose in Game 7 six times in the last eight years, but that's unfortunately the mantra that Matthews has to live with.

As we look forward to the 2024-25 season, there are still a lot of positives about this bunch, but changes are necessary and it starts with not re-signing the following three players.