HRWager’s NHL Offseason news evaluates the end of the tailspin for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Malaise had set into the franchise from the steady flow of money from the loyal fans and city. The franchise could do anything and still see a steady flow. Fans got irked and threatened to finally close the vault. This caused wholesale change with Brendan Shanhan taking over. HRWager now looks at the key offseason developments that Toronto is in for.
NHL Offseason : Steven Stamkos
Is he the hero that the city needs? Steven Stamkos rumors have been afloat for nearly a year. This is one of the key free agents to hit the market. July 1st is when the flood gates open up. While the Maple Leafs might be able to afford him, does his probable double digits offers from others box Toronto into a corner. It depends on how patient the fan base is. Appease the masses with this high profile signing or spread the money among the youth movement already in force here?
Lack of Leadership
A team without a captain might be the theme for the Maple Leafs. Brooks Laich is the obvious candidate but he is around for a year or two at max. He can fit the bill without that letter on the sweater. This is more about the appraisal of the youth. Auston Matthews, Morgan Rielly, Connor Brown, and William Nylander could all be worthy someday. Best off to let this situation rest and not give the “C” out this season.
Lastly, it is time to put Bernier to pasture. Allowing him to try to resurrect his career in the final year of a contract is madness here. In their system, Garret Sparks does not have a contract as of press time. Antonie Bibeau is not quite ready. Backups aplenty are in the free agent market but not many starters. Look for the Maple Leafs to try and find a practical solution in Europe. Lots of issues still for the Maple Leafs but at least now there are potential answers for all but the netminder. Good fortune in your wagering day and we will see you tomorrow here at the HRW.