3 Things to Avoid If Brad Treliving Doesn't Want to be the Worst GM Since JFJ

The Toronto Maple Leafs GM is in a tough spot.

2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Playing Ryan Reaves in the Playoffs

The narrative that Ryan Reaves is playing well and has really improved of late is complete nonsense.

Sure, he's better than he was, but what he was was unplayable. Now he's just a replacement player blocking a more talented player with a higher upside from seeing the ice.

Instead of Ryan Reaves the Leafs could play Nick Abruzzesse, Alex Steeves or any number of Marlies.

Reaves is a terrible player whose three-year contract is an albatross. The one skill he does bring, fighting, is not necessary in the playoffs where there is basically never is any.

The Leafs players love him, and while I'm sure his leadership and his status as an NHL warrior make him good in the room, you cannot escape the fact that every team you play will have a better player in their lineup at the equivalent position.

You cannot espcape the fact that in a salary cap league with full parity, marginal gains can be the difference between winning and losing.

Sure, most games are decided by stars, but a situation where the Leafs lose by one goal and one game in a close series because their fourth line was consistantly destroyed is a distinct possibility.

Reaves shouldn't be on this team at his age with his abilities. He's a fun player to cheer for, and occaisionally entertaining as well. But you can't play him in a playoff game.