The New Look Toronto Maple Leafs:
It's early April.
The Leafs have just had some of the most significant in-season surgery to a competitive team that anyone can remember.
The fans are going nuts at the sheer gumption of Brad Treliving. Editor In Leaf has just written a 3999 word essay praising him as the best general manager in franchise history.
The Playoffs are on the horizen, and thanks to this incredible new Leafs lineup, the boys in blue and white are the favorites to come out of the East, after going on a run after the trade deadline the likes of which has never been seen.
This is their lineup:
- Pavel Buchnevich – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi - John Tavares - William Nylander
Matthew Knies – Elias Lindholm – Bobby McMann
Nick Abruzzese - Pontus Holmberg - Alex Steeves
Morgan Rielly – Timothy Liljegren
Noah Hannifin - John Carlson
Jake McCabe - Mark Giordano/Simon Benoit
This may not be a perfect team - the blue line isn't that physical, and there are a lot of young players on it - but I think it's got a lot of star power, and the players who are coming in will all make significant impacts. The players leaving don't. This is obviously a better roster than what the Leafs currently have, and it's cap compliant, and I think all three trades I suggested are realistic.
The upside here is that while this team might lack some depth, it is very flexible, and there are a lot of different looks you could make with it. The current lineup - for example with Domi and Kampf both being opposite one-dimensional players - just doesn't work. This lineup can win the Stanley Cup.