The Toronto Maple Leafs have put the first week of July behind them, making a bevvy of signings throughout the organisation. Still no trades yet, and there’s a lot of players who could be forced onto the block by the numbers game, but some strides were made nonetheless. With that in mind, our roundtable gives their thoughts on how the month has been kicked off. After reading our angles on the situation, be sure to leave a comment with your own!
Am I satisfied with the Leafs offseason? Sure. They had holes going in, and they filled them through free agency and the draft. They even added a player who didn’t fill a hole in Marleau, although he does give the team flexibility to trade JVR to fill another hole in their 1RD spot. However, could they have filled those holes better? Definitely. Unless Boyle straight up hated playing in Toronto, the Leafs could’ve easily added him, and there were some better options than Ron Hainsey as well. Obviously easier said than done, but it could’ve gone better, especially since none of them were sweetheart deals. I’m not saying the offseason is a disaster, but it’s not ideal either
Picking up a 27 goal scorer to play alongside AM34 is a huge acquisition. As we know, it’s probably an overpay relative to his actual value but like Lamoriello said, this is a unique opportunity with such a large contingent of the roster still on ELCs or great deals. With JVR, Kadri, Marner, Matthews and Nylander combined only coming in at around 12 million for next season, I’m perfectly fine with the deal because the team’s been able to optimize their other assets well. Swapping in Ron Hainsey for Matt Hunwick is probably about the same, whereas the backup goaltending was a cheap if not overly attractive move. Zach Hyman was coming back and the contract is okay enough for a versatile player. It also shouldn’t be understated that as of right now, Roman Polak was not brought back and could be a recognizable case of addition by subtraction.
I know it’s a cop-out, but it’s really hard to say whether or not I’m satisfied with what Lou and Co. have done so far this offseason. In a vacuum, the moves have been OK, but we still don’t know what other moves are coming – and it sure seems like there are a few more shoes set to drop. Will they trade JVR of a top pairing d-man? Where does Marleau fit into the lineup? I’m not prepared to say whether or not I’m happy with what they’ve done yet until I see what they do next.
The Leafs off-season has been bold and other than a wonky goaltending signing I like what they are doing. Marleau still has a little left in the tank, Hainsey brings the coveted cups in the room contingent. Dominic Moore is a solid but not flashy signing. These are the cherries on top of a really good sundae. This also allows some younger forwards to marinate on the Marlies too. It’s a perfect storm that should be able to take on a weak Atlantic division.
It’s pretty simple; the Leafs a better team than they were a week ago and they haven’t done anything that will hurt them in the long run. I’ve gone into more detail about the signings in a separate post, and I’ve given my extended feelings on Marleau’s deal and Hyman’s future as well, but the long and short of it as that the Leafs are more mobile, more capable of facing tough competition, and have more depth, both up top and within the organization than they have before without a ton of risk. They didn’t undercut the market, so it’s not a glowing A++ effort, but they’ve improved without shooting themselves in the foot and deserve credit for that.
Yes, I am satisfied. Can everyone shut the fuck up about Zach Hyman now?