The 3 Biggest Toronto Maple Leafs Stories Heading into 2nd Half

Dec 23, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets Forward Cole Sillinger (4) tried to stuff
Dec 23, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets Forward Cole Sillinger (4) tried to stuff / Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports
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The GM

GM Brad Treliving had a bad summer. He didn't have much time to prepare, and the Leafs ended up just signing a bunch of name-brand guys and calling it a day.

Despite their good record to date, that strategy is already looking pretty dumb. Bertuzzi is fine, but doesn't produce like a $5 million forward. Domi is actively bad, and both John Klingberg and Ryan Reaves were disasters whose injuries actually made the team better.

To make things worse, he's done nothing since then.

I spoke previously about being proactive, but Treliving is anything but.

A proactive GM would be aware of the team's current issues and react accordingly, regardless of the team's record.

Instead, Treliving just let his team sink or swim with Legesson, Timmins, Benoit and Lajoie.

While at least two of those guys have been good (Benoit, and Timmins) that is besides the point. The Leafs haven't given any ice time to Mikko Kopponen or Topi Niemela, which I think is also another huge mistake - you have to know what you have in these guys, and they're well over 20 years old.

And the Leafs were not able to reach out and add help when needed. Just because they put up a fraudulently decent record during this stretch doesn't exonerate Treliving from sitting on his hands.

Unless you think signing Matthews for half the available years and finding Noah Gregor excuses six months of mistakes and errors, I don't even know how you could give Treliving a passing grade for his job with the Leafs so far.

I would give him an F and consider it generous. Looking at Calgary + his first six months on the job, I have no confidence that he can turn this around. I fully expect him to trade for Jon Huberdeau at this point.

Next. 7 Problems Facing the Leafs. 7 Reasons Why the Leafs are in Trouble. dark

It will be interesting what the next 50 games bring the Toronto Maple Leafs, but I wouldn't be surprised if they go on an extended losing streak and miss the playoffs. That isn't likely to happen, because their core is so good, but so far their new GM has done a brutal job of augmenting that core.