Toronto Maple Leafs Must Shake Things Up

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have been eliminated from the NHL playoffs in the first round again.

It sounds like a broken record saying that, but it is a harsh reality. For the seventh time in eight seasons, the Maple Leafs will not see playoff action beyond the first round. Fans are upset, and they have every right to be. Something needs to change, and it needs to change now.

The Toronto Maple Leafs need to start making changes to their roster, as well as the coaching staff. Series after series, Sheldon Keefe keeps getting out-coached in the playoffs. Leafs general manager Brad Treliving decided to keep Keefe and even signed him to an extension. However, due to the team's failure, it's time for Treliving to let Keefe go and find his own head coach.

According to, Treliving and the Leafs currently have $18.53 million available in cap space for next season's team. However, that could drastically improve if Treliving is able to find a way to trade one of the core four. Whether or not that is a good idea is besides the point since they all have full no-movement clauses.

The players that Treliving brought in last off-season who were supposed to help this team in the playoffs have done their part, but it hasn't been enough. Max Domi and Tyler Bertuzzi were supposed to supply the Leafs with much-needed secondary scoring come playoff time, and they're doing that, but not as much has expected.

Bertuzzi had a goal and two assists for three points, while Domi finished with a goal and three assists for four points. Nylander missing a few games and Samsonov not playing at his best is what hurt the team. (All stats from

Toronto Maple Leafs Have Changes Coming

I assume Treliving will take a week or two to contemplate the Leafs future, but firing Keefe and hiring his replacement before the NHL draft in June should be a priority.

There will be a few quality coaches available for Treliving to interview. Along with Sheldon Keefe being let go, I think the Leafs should part ways with assistant coach Guy Boucher. He was in charge of the team's power play this season, and it was not good. The power play was awful in the first round series against the Boston Bruins. Whoever Treliving brings in as the new head coach should be allowed to bring in his own assistant(s).

Player changes are a little harder to predict, but I think the time has come to allow Joseph Woll to become the Leafs number-one goaltender. Treliving should bring in a proven veteran goaltender to be a steady backup for Woll. Upgrading the defense should be a top priority this off-season.


Next, the Leafs will need to switch up their defense and bottom six forwards. There will be a few gaps in the roster once players leave via free agency in July. Filling those roster spots with proven playoff performers will be key for Treliving. The team needs more players with the experience of winning in the playoffs.