Toronto Maple Leafs Don't Care About Winning a Stanley Cup

Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens
Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

I'm starting to think that the Toronto Maple Leafs don’t care about winning.

The Toronto Maple Leafs seemed scared to make a splash at the NHL Trade Deadline this year and are unfortunately not giving their best players their greatest opportunity at winning a Stanley Cup. I know there’s a salary cap, and I understand that next year could be an even bigger headache for the front office with the Auston Matthews and William Nylander raises, but it feels like they aren’t even trying.

Every other contender made a move to improve their roster, with the Vegas Golden Knights being at the forefront. They added Noah Hanifin and Tomas Hertl, despite Hertel being signed until 2030. Despite being in “cap-hell,” they found a way to add roughly $8M in salary and acquire two big-name players, making their team even scarier.

After winning the Stanley Cup last year, the Golden Knights have just continued the same process by acquiring top talent each and every year. Why other teams, including the Leafs, aren’t looking at this and trying to do the same, is crazy to me, and it’s embarrassing to be honest.

Toronto Maple Leafs Organization Is a Joke

Maybe they’re “cheating” the system with Mark Stone being on Injured Reserve, or maybe they’re just smart, but either way, they’re finding ways to improve their roster every season and have been serious contenders as a result. With two Stanley Cup Finals appearances in the last six years, I wouldn’t want to bet against them again this playoffs, as they look to repeat as champions for the first time since the Tampa Bay Lightning a few years ago.

I can’t help but get angry every time I look at the construction of this roster. TJ Brodie, Max Domi, Tyler Bertuzzi, and David Kampf combining for $16M is such a waste of cap space when you could have equal production for one-quarter of the price. Not only that, but are we really going to believe that a combination of Joseph Woll/Ilya Samsonov is going to get the job done this playoffs?

If anyone’s going to run with the job, it has to be Woll, so as a pending UFA, the Leafs could have easily shed Samsonov’s $3.5M contract to gain even more valuable cap space, but instead, they stood pat.

I know this is real life, with real jobs on the line, but these GMs need to treat their teams more like video games. They need to bypass the feelings they have towards the players and shake things up when the results don’t change. You could have still kept the core of this roster together and added a million better things by trading draft picks, prospects, and having teams retain salary.

The Leafs convinced teams to retain salary on Joel Edmundson and Ilya Lyubushkin with some low-end draft picks, so you don’t think they could have gotten an organization to retain salary on a good player by trading away better prospects and draft picks?

Teams still value prospects and draft picks like they’re legitimate stars, when they’re still lottery balls, so the Leafs had a great opportunity to improve their roster and just said “forget it”.


This team is an embarrassment and should be ashamed of what they did at the NHL Trade Deadline.