The Toronto Maple Leafs held their season-ending press conference on Monday, with everyone from general manager Kyle Dubas to every player speaking out about their return next season. But this does not mean that the offseason and the beginning of next year will remain the same. Instead, the Leafs really need to make some drastic changes.
Let's break down the Toronto Raptors roster and management structure and make our best guesses about who will return next season and who will play the last game for the Blues & Whites:
Board collapse: The Maple Leafs finally made it out of the first round, earning enough prestige for the Shanahan-Dubas-Keeffe board to return the next season. Yes, Toronto's loss in the second round gave us a sobering idea of how far the team still has to go, but at least starting next season, we think Keefe's job is safe for now.
That is, if the Maple Leafs stumble next year and the NHL allows long-term reserve owners.Joel QuinnevilleKeefe can be replaced if he wants to get back in the game. But we think Shanahan and Dubas have management support, which will give management more opportunities. That means giving Dubas a new, shorter contract (two to three years), but if something goes wrong next season, the team can hang in there and eat up the remaining years of Dubas' new contract. Toronto clearly has enough money to afford this option.
Forward analysis: Dubas is more likely to be willing to listen to offers for any player on Toronto's current roster, but no one wants to be known as a GM who has given up on Matthews or Marner. Tavares' contract makes him untouchable, and he still offers something of value, albeit relatively overpaid compared to his $11 million per season contract.
But Toronto's looming salary crisis could lead to a younger Maple Leafs attacking staff and spell the end for Toronto veterans who could get better financial offers from other teams. Acciari has proven particularly good since he was acquired from St. Louis in the successful O'Reilly trade, while Kampf has been solid in a fourth-division role. But they are a luxury the Leafs can no longer afford.
The fallout from the pay crunch means youngsters like Knys, Robertson and McMahon will have big opportunities in the new year. Robertson was sidelined for much of the season through injury, but had plenty of support from Dubas. Knys looks like a rising star who could occupy a front line between the top two. McMahon has shown plenty of energy in his first 10 NHL games and during his tenure with the American League's Toronto Maris, for whom he scored 21 goals in 30 games this season, the attention of Dubas and Keefe.
The really interesting players to watch are Nylander, O'Reilly and Bunting. Toronto doesn't have room to get those three players back, and Nyland's value has never been higher after his best season, so it's easier to turn to him for defensive help; for example, Los Reis de Ángeles? Considering a deal with Nyland that would hire an elite defenderDrew DoughtyTo Toronto? Something strange has happened to this league.
O'Reilly made a big impact as a senior and a quiet presence added to the advantage on the ice. We know Dubas wasn't in the market to lease it, so if he does re-sign, the Leaf team bosses will be ecstatic. Meanwhile, Bunting might be too expensive for Toronto, but he could end up being the cheapest option of the trio.
Finally we wish Symonds all the best, he has been a fantastic team player and has given his all all year, even with poor health, along with Croft and Aston Reece they can land more lucrative deals elsewhere. In short, Toronto is facing radical changes and the only question is which players will lose the privilege of playing in one of hockey's true meccas.
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Possible returning defenders: lucas shane
Defensive Player Analysis:Riley, who enjoyed a phenomenal playoff run for the Maple Leafs and struggled at times during the regular season, will once again be the Leafs' Defensive Player of the Year next year. Brody had some dazzling comebacks at times against Florida in the second round, but he remains one of the more physical players on Toronto's roster and remains a minute-focused guy.
McCabe also struggled in the series against the Panthers, but he could still be an effective physical candidate in Toronto's second or third defensive duo. Giordano can't count on many minutes anymore, but his mentality and instincts remain strong and he alone will make $850,000 next season. Shane looks absolutely fantastic having been acquired early. He may choose to return to Vancouver, but he has shown that he still has a lot of energy and the Maple Leafs front office is enjoying his performance here. He's not at all surprised to see you back in Toronto.
Elsewhere, Lijgren and Timmins will fill out the defence, but expect Dubas to use most of his cap space to bolster his blue line. Whether this happens through free agency or trade is the only real question here. If they make it to the top four, you better believe they'll do anything to make it.
It's unlikely that the three D's will return including Hall; we've said many times before that we don't think he's an elite NHL defenseman, but he could get one as an unrestricted free agent. For the team. friend. Muzzin's health remains questionable, and his $5.625 million salary cap could be very valuable to Toronto if he is again placed on long-term injury reserve next year. Gustafson is an asset we think Keefe should use more often, and he's likely to get a more lucrative offer from another team.
In short, Toronto's defense will be significantly different next year. Dubas needs to make this team harder to tackle, especially in their own zone, and his plays at D will reflect that reality.
Possible returning goalkeepers:none
Goalkeepers who will not be able to return: Matt Murray
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Goalkeeper analysis:It's been a year of opportunities for the Toronto goalie, who has disappointed in his previous NHL team. Both Samsonov and Murray signed "show me what you got" contracts, and Samsonov made the most of that, making a consistent presence throughout the regular season and against Tampa Bay in the first round. The move earned him the title. to see. He is a restricted free agent and his salary will go up nearly 100%, but he won't break the bank and could sign a two- to three-year deal for $3-$4 million each. season.
Rookie goalkeeper Wall has excelled in limited games and will almost certainly be Samsonov's backup next season. Wall's subscription price for the next two seasons is just $766,667, and that cap is a boon for Dubas. He basically stayed in second position.
Murray, on the other hand, simply couldn't stay healthy, and when he was healthy enough to play, he was too inconsistent for management's liking. His contract next season is worth $4.687 million, which is very rich for Toronto. His contract has been purchased, placed on LTIR, or traded. But a trade option would mean Dubas would have to attach another asset -- a draft pick or prospect -- to get another team to take the deal, when they could just buy out his contract without giving it away. change him when he is a good player. Regardless, we don't see Murray return to the Leafs under any circumstances.
Label: Connor TimminsJack McCabeMark GiordanoMorgan RiellyTJ BrodyTimothy Ledgergren