Don't Blame the Keefster, Brad Treliving Is the NHL's Worst GM

Toronto Maple Leafs v New York Islanders
Toronto Maple Leafs v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The Toronto Maple Leafs blew a lead for the fourth straight game last night against the Edmonton Oilers.

Not coincidently, the Toronto Maple Leafs also lost their fourth game in a row.

Before these last four losses, the Leafs beat three of the worst teams in a row (LA, losers of nine of their last ten, and San Jose, one of the worst teams ever assembled) after having lost five of six, and seven of eight.

You have to go back to December 16th, over a month ago, to find the last time the Leafs beat a quality opponent. (It was, ironically, the Pittsburgh Penguins).

Everyone is blaming Sheldon Keefe, but what's he supposed to do with an AHL blue-line and the franchises fourth best goalie? In fact, if not for the near-mythical Martin Jones Hot Streak of December, this team might be done for the year.

Toronto Maple Leafs Have No Vision, Need a New GM

In the NHL, the worst thing is that general managers tend to get years to currupt the franchise with their vision. You don't usually see a guy pay the price for making bad trades, free-agent signings and other miscelanious decisions until he's been on the job a long while.

Even though it's clear that the average fan with access to could easily outperform the guy who is fast shaping up to be the worst Toronto Maple Leafs GM of all-time, we likely have to live with him for a several seasons after this one.

Why would the Toronto Maple Leafs hire a guy whose last time was in the midst of a mutiny when he was let go? The guy who made Matthew Tkachuk trade, the guy who gave out ill-advised contracts to Jonathan Huberdeau and Nazem Kadri? The man who left his last team in total disaray?

Seriously, I'm asking. Why would they do that?

But that's like asking how anyone could play Noah Gregor in 41 NHL games (and counting) or why anyone looked at the Leafs blue-line last summer and said "you know what would really fix this mess - John Klingberg!"

If you want answers to these questions, you're going to need to ask Robert Stack.

Meanwhile, the Leafs have no left wingers, no blue-line, no depth, no prospects of note, and no goalie. The playoffs are still likely, and the core is so good this team could still win the cup despite Brad's bungling. If, that is, they make the playoffs and an Auston Matthews' hot-streak happens to coincide with a couple weeks of league-average goaltending.

Brendan Shanahan has two options: Admit hiring Brad Trelinving was the second biggest mistake of his life (after not giving up the presidency to hockey's Alex Anthopolous) and take over the role for the rest of the year while he conducts a proper search.

Or he can go down with the ship and be fired by the incoming MLSE in early April when the season is over. If these guys think they can pin this on Sheldon Keefe, they are delusional. Fire Keefe now and I guarantee you that he is back in the NHL before either Shanahan or Treliving who will be fired after this season if they don't make some major course corrections.

This team stinks, and it stinks because in the summer instead of sticking with what works they signed a bunch of name-brand players, wasted $20 million and called it a day.

For coming into the season with this blue-line, for signing Ryan Reaves, for failing to act when the team was desperate for a defenseman, and then later for a goalie, for not getting Matthews for eight years and for drastically overpaying William Nylander, Brad Treliving has got to go.


Might as well bring back John Ferguson Jr. Might as well bring back Ron Wilson. This team is a joke.