Showing posts from 2018

Why the Leafs should look to trade for Jeff Petry

It's been no secret that the Leafs’ Achilles heel over the past two seasons has been their back end. Heck, it's all everyone seems to be talking about.
Heading into the 2018-19 season, the Leafs defensive unit is projected to look something like this:
Rielly-Hainsey Gardiner-Zaitsev Dermott-Carrick Extra: Holl, Ozhiganov
While there are some nice pieces included in this group, it can certainly be better. Especially when you consider the team as a whole gave up the third most shots against in the NHL and Frederik Andersen had to face the most shots and saves of any goalie last season.
Sure, perhaps the upgrade could come from within the Leafs system with guys like Holl and Ozhiganov vying for a spot, as mentioned earlier. There's also the possibility of signing a defenseman who has yet to land a contract in free agency (Cody Franson reunion?)
Perhaps, instead, it could be as easy as trading for one who is a proven commodity. I think this third option is what the Leafs should…

How should the Leafs sort out their power-play and penalty kill units?

With the dog days of both the offseason and summer in full swing, it's easy to just sit around and wait for the new season to start. Alternatively, there's the option of contemplating how the Leafs should sort out their lines come October.
I decided to go with the latter option, but more specifically,tofocus on the Buds’ special team units.
As of August 10, we have a clear idea as to how the lines will shakeup. Mike Babcock said on the day John Tavares signed with the Leafs that he would be on a line with Mitch Marner and Zach Hyman, while Auston Matthews will play with William Nylander and Patrick Marleau. Here's how the rest of the starting lines will probably look like according to TSN.
What isn't really known at this point, however, is what Babcock and the Leafs have planned for both the power play and penalty killing squads for 2018-19. Today, I decided to take an educated guess based on who is most likely to make the team out of training camp.

Power-play #1 Marleau-Ta…

4 pending free agents the Leafs can realistically pursue

With the Stanley Cup Finals well underway, the 2017-18 season is quickly reaching its conclusion. This means the offseason is fast approaching and many important decisions will need to be made by teams heading into both the draft and free agency.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have a few areas that need to be addressed in the coming months in order for the team to make the next step towards Cup contention. The 2018 playoffs proved that defence was still a top priority and the depth at centre heading into 2019 is unclear.
Obviously, the team could draft the best prospect at the Leafs spot and develop them. That could take a while though as the window is just now opening. There could also be a trade, but what assets do the Leafs feel comfortable giving up to get immediate help?
The logical conclusion then would be to sign some key free agents starting July 1st. There are many marquee players that could be available, like John Tavares, John Carlson, and Mike Green among others, although it's …

Five takeaways from the Leafs 2017-18 season

Solid season for Andersen, but clearly overworked