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Toronto Maple Leafs 2022 - 2023 Thread

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  • Toronto Maple Leafs 2022 - 2023 Thread

    Time for a new thread as usual.

    Leafs third pair of Giordano and Liljegren carry a cap hit of $2.2 million.

    Who do we like of the free agent goalies? Is Campbell the best option?

    I would advocate for a Vasilevskiy/Shesterkin combo.
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  • #2
    Originally posted by Pingeye2_fan View Post
    Time for a new thread as usual.

    Leafs third pair of Giordano and Liljegren carry a cap hit of $2.2 million.

    Who do we like of the free agent goalies? Is Campbell the best option?

    I would advocate for a Vasilevskiy/Shesterkin combo.
    If that’s the combo you’d like in net you’ll have that d pairing as second pair and 6 forward and the rest of the team will be filled out with mens league stars
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Lefty17 View Post

      If that’s the combo you’d like in net you’ll have that d pairing as second pair and 6 forward and the rest of the team will be filled out with mens league stars
      I think it’s worth a try
      G410 Plus 10.5*
      G410 3W 16*
      G400 7W 20.5*
      G400 3H & 4H 19* & 22*
      G400 5 - UW
      Glide 3.0 54/14 WS, 58/10 SS
      SeeMore DB4 Nashville (303 milled)
      Anser TR 1966

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      • #4
        Some thoughts heading in to next season:

        (1) On defense - the Leafs should try and find a suitor for Jake Muzzin. While he was one of our steadiest defensemen in our series against Tampa Bay, he carries a cap hit that isn't representative of his contributions on the ice, and he could be replaced by Liljegren or Sandin, assuming their developmental trajectory stays on course. The Liljegren signing was a good number for an RFA, hopefully Sandin comes in at a similar number. Justin Holl could/should be moved, as it would be more beneficial to the organization to have Liljegren and Sandin playing as regulars in the lineup. Dubas should attempt to retain Lyubushkin at a reasonable number, he played well paired with Morgan Rielly as a calming presence, allowing Rielly to be more aggressive on the offensive side. If Lyubushkin prices himself out of the market, taking a look at free agent Erik Gudbranson might be worthwhile.

        (2) In net - First things first, trading away the awful contract handed out to Mrazek last off season is a must... unfortunately it will take a pick or prospect to make it happen, with nothing coming back in return. There are a lot of free agent options, though none of them are particularly good options. I dont think bringing Campbell back is worthwhile, although he played good in the playoffs, his save percentage on high danger chances wasn't great, when we needed him to "save one that he shouldnt" he was unable to do that. Dubas should explore the trade market, with Ilya Sorokin on the NYI being the primary target. He is an ELITE goalie at a reasonable cap hit, and the Islanders may soon find themselves in rebuild mode. A package of prospects that might include a few of... Robertson, Abrusseze, Anderson, Kral, Dahlstrom, Holmberg, Hollowell, Kallgren, Woll and a pick in the 2nd-4th round range could possibly get the job done. John Gibson should be a "cheaper" option if the Islanders are unwilling to move Sorokin.

        (3) On forward - a lot needs to happen here, but I suspect little of it will... Although I love Nylander's scoring touch and skating ability, Tavares is not well suited playing with a "rush player" (and JT isnt going anywhere), so Dubas should TRY and find a heavier forward more prone to generating offense off the cycle/forecheck... think JT Miller, Josh Anderson, etc..., this obviously would involve (as much as I hate to say it) trading Nylander. Another reason for making this move is, the Leafs need to be heavier in the top 6. They tried to add toughness by signing guys like Simmonds and Clifford who see limited icetime (please Kyle/Sheldon... bury them in the minors!). In today's NHL, having a "tough" 4th liner is useless, you need physical players playing 20 minutes a night, not 5 minutes. If you look at the two teams who made it to the cup final, they are (or play) heavy/gritty in their top 6... Landeskog, Mckinnon, Stamkos, Killorn, Point, Kadri, Nichushkin and Palat were/are all willing to throw their body around, go to the dirty areas, and block shots. As it stands, AM is our only top 6 forward who had Tampa's defenders looking over their shoulders in the first round. If we're going to bring in toughness, I wouldn't mind seeing Dubas make a call to Deslaurier's agent, he is of the Simmonds/Clifford mould, but he brings quite a bit more skill. Lower down the lineup, I would like to see Blackwell back, he was a 'spark plug' after he was acquired at the deadline, though it would have to be on or near a league minimum deal. If he's not traded for a roster player, and especially if a top 6 forward to play with Tavares can't be found, I would like to see Robertson given a "full time" opportunity on the top line with AM and MM which would bump Bunting down to the Tavares line, if for no other reason than to showcase him for the deadline. The Leafs seem to be the only team that doesn't give their "top prospects" an opportunity to prove themselves in the top 6, it goes all the way back to Babcock playing Marner in limited minutes on the 3rd/4th line. Kase and Engvall likely to be resigned as well, though I don't necessarily want to see Kase back, I don't see another low-cost option out there.

        The common theme above, I don't see much value in the free agent market. If the Leafs are going to improve, Dubas is going to have to "win" a trade or two.

        An ideal 2022/2023 lineup would look something like... note my second choices at a given position are in parenthesis:

        Robertson (750k) - Matthews (11.6M) - Marner (11M)
        Bunting (950k) - Tavares (11M) - Miller (5.25M) (Nylander)
        Kerfoot (3.5M) - Kampf (1.5M) - Kase (1.5M)
        Engvall (1.5M) - Blackwell (1.5M) - Deslauriers (1.5M)

        Rielly (7.5M) - Lyubushkin (3M) (Gudbranson)
        Sandin (1.5M) - Brodie (5M)
        Liljegren (1.5M) - Giordano (800k)

        Sorokin (4M) (Gibson)
        Woll (800k) (Kallgren)

        That would make their starting roster come in significantly under the cap @ $75.650M, leaving about 6.5M in cap space to fill out their 23 man roster and or make 1 or 2 improvements on my "ideal" lineup.... all of this assuming that Sandin's extension matches Liljegren's, and that Kase, Engvall, Blackwell, and Deslaurier would sign somehwere in the 1-2M range, and that Lyubushkin or Gudbranson wouldn't exceed 3M.

        Comment


        • #5
          Sorokin is the Isles future so that’s not happening. Gibson is usually hurt kinda like Anderson. Good but dependable I don’t know.

          Who are dealing for Miller? He’s going to get a kings ransom. Plus he needs to be resigned for 8-9 next year.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lefty17 View Post
            Sorokin is the Isles future so that’s not happening. Gibson is usually hurt kinda like Anderson. Good but dependable I don’t know.

            Who are dealing for Miller? He’s going to get a kings ransom. Plus he needs to be resigned for 8-9 next year.

            Agree, on Sorokin being their future, but I am operating under the premise that Lou and co have acknowledged that they are in for a long term rebuild, and thus, prospects + picks become more valuable than a goalie in his prime (26 yos). For Miller, you would have to trade Nylander, for a team that is 'retooling' and is still young and developing, they shouldn't overvalue Miller who only has 1 year left on his deal and expect much more than a roster player for roster play trade.

            I think Gibson's injuries come from the pure volume of starts he has and pucks he faces in those starts, when healthy. If I'm not mistaken, he has led the league in terms of absolute number of saves for a majority of the last 10 seasons. Anaheim is pathetic defensively, and he can expect to see 35+ shots on most nights. In Toronto, he would be somewhat more sheltered with a stronger team in front of him.

            Comment


            • #7
              I chuckle when I read some of these potential trades....Leafs offer slugs for stars....pitiful

              Comment


              • #8

                Agree that resigning Lyubushkin should be a 'no brainer'. If management believes that he is an upgrade over Holl. Certainly he outplayed Holl in Toronto in 2021-22. But could Holl return to his 2020-21 performance?

                Moving Muzzin would most likely require eating part of his contract and including another asset as a sweetener. Muzzin has slowed considerably, is now fairly injury prone and has a cap hit of $5.625 million for the next 2 seasons. Might be better to put him on the 'injury list' for most of the season and then have him ready for the playoffs.

                In net is Gibson that much of an improvement over Campbell? Gibson also has 5 more years at $6.4 million.

                I think that Dubas had the right idea in signing a 1B to play in tandem with Campbell through the season, allowing Campbell to be rested and ready for the playoffs. Unfortunately Mrazek did not perform. What about a return of James Reimer? He is an UFA, and has been a competent 2A/1B for a number of years. But would Reimer's wife agree to a return here?

                Also agree that Marner's game is more compatible with JT than is Nylander's game/skill set. But management/coaching appears to prefer to have Marner play with Matthews.

                What I believe the Leafs need is that rare commodity, a true power forward (winger). Acquiring Shanahan changed the Red Wings' fortunes, from perennial playoff underperformers/disappointments to a dynasty.

                Tom Wilson helped to push Washington over the top.

                The problem being that a true power forward is very rare in the current game.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Arthur Dailey View Post
                  Agree that resigning Lyubushkin should be a 'no brainer'. If management believes that he is an upgrade over Holl. Certainly he outplayed Holl in Toronto in 2021-22. But could Holl return to his 2020-21 performance?

                  Moving Muzzin would most likely require eating part of his contract and including another asset as a sweetener. Muzzin has slowed considerably, is now fairly injury prone and has a cap hit of $5.625 million for the next 2 seasons. Might be better to put him on the 'injury list' for most of the season and then have him ready for the playoffs.

                  In net is Gibson that much of an improvement over Campbell? Gibson also has 5 more years at $6.4 million.

                  I think that Dubas had the right idea in signing a 1B to play in tandem with Campbell through the season, allowing Campbell to be rested and ready for the playoffs. Unfortunately Mrazek did not perform. What about a return of James Reimer? He is an UFA, and has been a competent 2A/1B for a number of years. But would Reimer's wife agree to a return here?

                  Also agree that Marner's game is more compatible with JT than is Nylander's game/skill set. But management/coaching appears to prefer to have Marner play with Matthews.

                  What I believe the Leafs need is that rare commodity, a true power forward (winger). Acquiring Shanahan changed the Red Wings' fortunes, from perennial playoff underperformers/disappointments to a dynasty.

                  Tom Wilson helped to push Washington over the top.

                  The problem being that a true power forward is very rare in the current game.
                  I think Holl played above his ability in 20-21, and would be very surprised to see him return to that level of play.

                  Muzzin may be of interest to a team like Edmonton, if they are able to shed some of their “dead” salary in players like Kassian, Barrie, or Ceci.

                  I do believe Gibson is a significant upgrade over Campbell, and his cap hit would be less than the combined cap hit of a 1A/1B tandem like Campbell/Mrazek.

                  The problem is Marner and Matthews are so
                  dynamic together, that it may not be worthwhile in the long term to split them up just to spark Tavares. Trading a skilled winger like Nylander for a gritty/heavy winger like Miller or Anderson would provide more balance and achieve the same
                  goal (lifting Tavares’ play).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Tell Tavares to lift his own play that’s what he’s paid to do.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SeanAvery2point0 View Post

                      I think Holl played above his ability in 20-21, and would be very surprised to see him return to that level of play.

                      Muzzin may be of interest to a team like Edmonton, if they are able to shed some of their “dead” salary in players like Kassian, Barrie, or Ceci.

                      I do believe Gibson is a significant upgrade over Campbell, and his cap hit would be less than the combined cap hit of a 1A/1B tandem like Campbell/Mrazek.

                      The problem is Marner and Matthews are so
                      dynamic together, that it may not be worthwhile in the long term to split them up just to spark Tavares. Trading a skilled winger like Nylander for a gritty/heavy winger like Miller or Anderson would provide more balance and achieve the same
                      goal (lifting Tavares’ play).
                      edmonton has
                      no need for muzzin....kassian is dead weight....barrie could be traded for a team needed a pp quarterback...Ceci is
                      a 3rd pairing d...jmo

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lefty17 View Post
                        Tell Tavares to lift his own play that’s what he’s paid to do.
                        Everybody needs linemates that compliment them, even the games biggest stars. Look at the struggles the Penguins had early in Sid’s career to find linemates that complimented his game, and how they struggled after Kunitz retired. Some notable players that ‘didn’t work’ with Crosby; Malkin, Kessel, Hossa, Neal, Perron… players who did work with Crosby weren’t all high skill players like the group I just mentioned; Dupuis, Kunitz, Sheary….

                        Just based on the eye test, Tavares played better during Keefe’s experiment pairing him with Mikheyev and Kerfoot than he did with Nylander.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by northernpro View Post
                          edmonton has
                          no need for muzzin....kassian is dead weight....barrie could be traded for a team needed a pp quarterback...Ceci is
                          a 3rd pairing d...jmo
                          They definitely have a need for a defenceman who is strong in the defensive zone and especially in front of the net.... They had the worst GAA in the playoffs... they allowed almost as many total goals as the lightning who played 7 more games (EDM - 59 GA, TBL - 61 GA)... the Hurricanes played 2 fewer games and allowed 19 fewer goals.... with Anti Raanta in net... sure, some of that blame can be put on Smith and Koskinen, but the fact of the matter is they faced the most shots per game of any team that made it out of the first round because their defense is subpar.

                          Barrie... he could probably be moved, but the return wouldn't be anything to write home about, due to his 4.5M cap hit.

                          Ceci... I agree he is a third pairing or 7th defenseman, the problem is he is paid like a second pairing dman with an AAV of 3.25M/yr.... i.e. dead cap.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SeanAvery2point0 View Post

                            They definitely have a need for a defenceman who is strong in the defensive zone and especially in front of the net.... They had the worst GAA in the playoffs... they allowed almost as many total goals as the lightning who played 7 more games (EDM - 59 GA, TBL - 61 GA)... the Hurricanes played 2 fewer games and allowed 19 fewer goals.... with Anti Raanta in net... sure, some of that blame can be put on Smith and Koskinen, but the fact of the matter is they faced the most shots per game of any team that made it out of the first round because their defense is subpar.

                            Barrie... he could probably be moved, but the return wouldn't be anything to write home about, due to his 4.5M cap hit.

                            Ceci... I agree he is a third pairing or 7th defenseman, the problem is he is paid like a second pairing dman with an AAV of 3.25M/yr.... i.e. dead cap.
                            I see kassian and Barrie moved but most of the
                            money goes to keep Kane......if that is possible.....the
                            available goalies are not really great...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SeanAvery2point0 View Post

                              Everybody needs linemates that compliment them, even the games biggest stars. Look at the struggles the Penguins had early in Sid’s career to find linemates that complimented his game, and how they struggled after Kunitz retired. Some notable players that ‘didn’t work’ with Crosby; Malkin, Kessel, Hossa, Neal, Perron… players who did work with Crosby weren’t all high skill players like the group I just mentioned; Dupuis, Kunitz, Sheary….

                              Just based on the eye test, Tavares played better during Keefe’s experiment pairing him with Mikheyev and Kerfoot than he did with Nylander.
                              Crosby got the job done regardless of who his line mates were. Still put up 100 point season. That’s what getting paid the big dollars is… getting the job done regardless of who you play with. Sometimes things don’t work but the catering that goes to 91 is getting a bit extreme.
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