Early Musings on the Toronto Maple Leafs Off-Season

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Five
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Five / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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After absorbing yet another metaphorical punch in the gut via Saturday night’s Game 7 loss, this long-time Toronto Maple Leafs fan decided to wait a couple of days before even trying to form an opinion on what just happened and what might happen next.

It’s like I saw David Pastrnak’s overtime shot go in, I numbly watched the handshake line, I said to myself “such is the life of a Toronto Maple Leafs fan”, and sadly turned off the hockey part of my brain before self-pity could ruin the rest of the weekend.

Now that I’ve enjoyed some barbecued burgers, the lawn has been cut and the second round of the NHL playoffs have begun, various Maple Leaf-related thoughts have started percolating to the top of my mind. 

Being a kind and generous sort of person, I thought I might share these nuggets of wisdom with you. 

To anyone questioning the desire or courage of William Nylander or Auston Matthews, both of whom missed multiple playoff games, I offer to you colorful language that cannot be published. 

Both of these guys want to win, badly, and should be praised for putting their health on the line by coming back and playing when they clearly aren’t 100% healthy.

Who Should Be Back Next Year for the Toronto Maple Leafs?

Ilya Samsonov also deserves kudos for coming back from rock bottom earlier in the season, when it looked doubtful that he’d play another NHL game this season.  That said, it makes no sense to bring him back next season, at any price.  He just isn't good enough.

Joseph Woll could be “the guy” the Toronto Maple Leafs so desperately need in net.  Except that he can’t stay healthy.  Woll seems to have developed great mental calm, and his positioning and athleticism are exceptional.  But until he demonstrates that he can stay injury-free for a whole season, he can’t be relied upon to be the number one guy.