What Should the Toronto Maple Leafs Do With Their UFAs?

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Six
Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Six / Claus Andersen/GettyImages
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T.J. Brodie

When the Leafs signed TJ Brodie in 2020, he was immediately one of their best defensemen.

He was able to seamlessly fit onto the top-pair next to Morgan Rielly and help anchor the pairing making it much more effective.

He was also utilized in the playoffs to team up with Jake Muzzin and create an elite shutdown pairing. His and Muzzin’s defensive IQ mixed with Brodie’s active stick helped make the Leafs much more formidable defensively. 

However, this year Brodie struggled mightily.

He started the year on the top-pair in his usual role alongside Rielly. By the end of the season, he was a healthy scratch, only playing in a single playoff game.

This indicates that the Leafs don’t view him as one of the 18 best players on the roster. Although this past season seems to have tainted his perception to some, fans should remember him as one of the best defenders on the team for years and one of the most underrated in his time.

Many have speculated the cause of his decline whether it be age or personal reasons, it is tough to say if he can or will bounce back. Players his age almost never do.

Brodie likely walks in free agency as he might be able to command over one or two million on a short-term deal. But, Treliving should take him back at or around league minimum on a one-year deal as a seventh or eighth defender. Either way, hopefully he can find his footing in the league once again and go out on better terms than what this season presented.