GOOD NEWS: Just In Toronto Maple Leafs Are Now Paying The Price For Another Top Sensational High Profile Superstar

The Toronto Maple Leafs Are Currently Paying for Their Ignorance
The Leafs’ current situation is a result of a number of factors, including unfortunate trades, subpar player development, a shifting identity, and bad luck. Their best players are entering their prime, leaving them with few options and several holes to fill.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are a team with many needs, especially for a team that wants to win a championship. Defense and goaltending are at the top.

The Florida Panthers’ impressive run to the verge of a Stanley Cup triumph highlights the significance of stifling the opposition. Throughout their postseason run, they have neutralized some of the NHL’s top offensive teams.

In contrast, the Toronto Maple Leafs are searching for a goalie to complement the gifted but inconsistent Joseph Woll. They also require two or more top-four defenders to bolster their extremely thin blue line.

The Leafs need to cover a lot of ground. Their inability to see ahead and a host of other problems have limited their ability to add players to the roster who can surround Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and Mitch Marner when they are at their best.

The Toronto Maple Leafs Are Currently Paying for Their Ignorance
With one year left on Marner and John Tavares’ contracts, the Maple Leafs are drawing closer to the conclusion of their “Core 4” era.

When Brendan Shanahan and former general manager Kyle Dubas decided to sign free-agent Tavares, the Leafs went all in with skill and offense. With his signing and subsequent deals with Matthews, Nylander, and Marner, the team committed a large portion of its salary cap space to the forwards.

The only major, sustained commitment to a defenseman or goalie has been and still is Morgan Rielly.

Due to no-movement clauses and high player salaries, the Leafs have little flexibility with their cap space to engage in the anticipated bidding wars for this year’s top defensemen.

The Leafs will have to be careful when asking players like Marner to waive his no-movement clause if they want to trade for a seasoned, proven goalie. It’s a delicate circumstance.

All they have going for them is Rielly and Jake McCabe. The young forwards on the team are its best prospects.

How did the Maple Leafs get in this predicament and how can they fix it before it’s too late?

The Leafs Search For a Top Goalie Continues

The Maple Leafs general manager before Dubas, Lou Lameriello, recognized that a goalie was needed to stabilize a young team. He acquired goaltender Frederik Andersen from the Anaheim Ducks in 2016.

Andersen had some good moments as Leaf, but untimely, soft goals during the playoffs were his undoing. He moved on to the Carolina Hurricanes as a free agent.

Next, came Jack Campbell, who was acquired through trade from the Los Angeles Kings. The Leafs gambled that they could help the former first-round pick (11th overall in 2010) reach his potential and become a number-one goalie.

Campbell became a fan favorite for the Maple Leafs, but he too let in too many questionable goals, none more backbreaking than Game 7 versus the Montreal Canadiens in 2021.

The Leafs wisely moved on from Campbell and let him sign with the Edmonton Oilers in free agency.

The team’s pattern of betting on the upside of a young goalie from outside the organization continued with Ilya Samsonov. The Leafs signed Samsonov to back-to-back 1-year deals, but inconsistency ruled his tenure. He is not likely to return next season.

It has left the Maple Leafs with few options. One, they could take a huge risk and trade a talent like Marner to acquire someone they hope will solidify their goaltending. Two, they let Woll handle the load with his significant history of injuries. Neither is ideal.

The Leafs have a long history of goaltenders who led underdog teams to upset series victories in the playoffs. Felix Potvin, Curtis Joseph, and Ed Belfour had many moments of postseason brilliance.

Now, with a talent-laden roster among the best in franchise history, the Leafs are still searching for a stud goalie to pair with it.

The Panthers, meanwhile, signed Sergei Bobrovsky to a monster free-agent contract well before they were considered title contenders. They are now reaping the benefits.

Finding a reliable, starting goaltender is not the only area where the Maple Leafs have erred.



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