Toronto Maple Leafs 2024 Free Agency Targets Miss The Mark, So Far

The Toronto Maple Leafs and GM Brad Treliving have been very active in the early days of free agency,
Edmonton Oilers v Dallas Stars - Game Two
Edmonton Oilers v Dallas Stars - Game Two / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages
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Depth Signings

On day two, it was announced that Treliving followed up these additions with a trio of depth signings.

Defensemen Dakota Mermis, Philippe Myers, and forward Cedric Pare were all signed too one-year, two-way contracts worth the minimum of $775,000.

The moves Treliving has made thus far in free agency shows where his priorities lie. As of right now, the Leafs have eight defensemen signed next year that make over $1 million.

In that group, only one defender is below 6-1, Timothy Liljegren. This again shows that the GM has put emphasis on making his D-core an imposing force with a reliance on size.

On an individual basis, most of these signings are not bad and are actually welcomed additions. Although, I do disagree with the OEL signing.

However, when adding them all together, these players take up a total of $12 million against the cap. They also miss one of the more glaring weaknesses on the Leafs depth chart: Offense.

A problem that has plagued the club for years in the playoffs is their inability to consistently produce the thing that wins games, goals. The team needs more secondary scoring and none of the moves have addressed that glaring weakness. The loss of Tyler Bertuzzi and possibly Nick Robertson further hurts this and has definitely hurt them upfront. 

Last year, the Leafs ranked second in goals throughout the regular season with 303 but their core four of Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Mitch Marner, and John Tavares accounted for 164 of those goals alone and no other player eclipsed the 20 goal mark on the roster.

This past year in the playoffs that offense dried up and the team only scored a total of 12 goals through seven games and their powerplay percentage was 4.8%. The depth scoring has been a problem for multiple years now and it should be prioritized more than it has been.

Something will have to happen over the next few months to clear cap room, whether that is trading at least one of: Connor Timmins, David Kampf, and Calle Jarnkrok or somebody else.

The Leafs will need to add offensive punch into their middle-six and hope that their young players take a step. Matthew Knies has shown great promise and if he can build from his 35-point rookie year, he could help make up some of their losses.

Additionally, Easton Cowan and Fraser Minten could both make the opening night lineup and if they can stick, they should be able to provide some cheap secondary scoring for the team. Cowan specifically took major steps this year in a big role with the London Knights, capturing OHL playoff MVP and the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player of the Year award.

In recent years, we have seen players follow a similar trajectory and explode shortly after like; Mitch Marner, Wyatt Johnston, Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas, and Alex DeBrincat. 

All Contract Information via All Stats Via


It is a good thing that Treliving has made tangible upgrades on the backend. But, it seems like he is doing it at the expense of the group upfront, which as history has shown, may not be wise.