The Toronto Maple Leafs were front and center in the NHL news on Monday, despite the fact that there were trades to announce and number of updates via news from many teams. After the Leafs signed Jason Spezza to a one-year extension, GM Kyle Dubas spoke with media to discuss a few other things Maple Leafs related and made two pretty big announcements.
Related: Jason Spezza Signs 1-Yr Extension With Maple Leafs
First, Dubas announced that he expects Frederik Andersen to be the team’s starting goaltender next season. Chris Johnston of Sportsnet relayed comments from the general manager that he was “unhappy about where the trade speculation originated and has addressed it directly with Andersen.”
This comes as surprising news considering the Maple Leafs were rumored to be actively shopping Andersen in an attempt to clear cap space to focus on their blue line. In fact, there was so much talk surrounding Andersen that the netminder himself made comments that he’d expected he might be moved.
It’s an interesting development and one that potentially suggests Dubas wasn’t able to land the return he wanted in a trade and with so many goalies about to hit the market, teams simply weren’t willing to give Dubas back what he wanted in any deal.
Maple Leafs Want To Be Harder to Play Against
The other announcement from the GM was that the Leafs have made it a priority to be tougher next season. This isn’t so much an announcement that they’ll add fighters, but Johnston notes, “Kyle Dubas says the Leafs consider it a “priority” to become a harder team to play against. Plans to address that with new personnel acquired via trade or free agency.”
This announcement was followed up by one from TSN’s Pierre LeBrun who said he could confirm that the Leafs are making this objective No. 1. He was told the Leafs were feeling the “Tampa effect”.
Next: Did Robin Lehner’s Deal Just Shake Up the NHL Goalie Market?
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