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Maple Leafs Offseason Moves Are Horrible, Just Like Last Year!

The Toronto Maple Leafs have made a number of offseason moves that fans have not liked. Who’s right – the team or the fans?

Let’s not kid ourselves. Every Toronto Maple Leafs’ fan knows the truth. The majority of general manager Kyle Dubas’ moves this offseason have simply been horrible. There’s no other word for it.

Related: Maple Leafs Commentary: 7 Questions the Team Will Soon Answer

Maple Leafs’ Players Who Left Have Not Been Replaced

The Maple Leafs have lost two key players – Ilya Mikheyev and Jack Campbell. First, you simply can’t replace Mikheyev with Calle Jarnkrok. Even worse, there’s no way that Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov can replace Campbell in goal. The Maple Leafs have not improved in goal at all. 

Ilya Samsonov, now with the Maple Leafs

Anyone who believes there’s a chance that Murray can play as he did in Pittsburgh with the Penguins or Samsonov can play as he did two seasons ago with the Washington Capitals is dreaming. Recently, both have been losers with their respective teams. The teams they left saw them for what they are. They were given away – or worse, the Ottawa Senators paid the Maple Leafs to take Murray.  

The New Skaters Are All Retreads, Discarded By Their Old Teams

The same thing with Adam Gaudette, Denis Malgin, Nicolas Aibe-Kubel, Victor Mete, and Jordie Benn. No one wanted these guys. Furthermore, no realistic Maple Leafs’ fan believes there’s anything about the team that’s improved.

Given the makeup of the roster, as it stands, this team can’t come close to matching last season’s production or regular-season success.  

The second line has a hole in it so big that a battleship can cruise through it. The third line might be OK defensively, but there’s no offense on it – at all. Anyway, the fourth line be the shutdown line and not the third line. It’s wrong thinking. 

But then, both Dubas and Maple Leafs’ Head Coach Sheldon Keefe will be gone soon enough – after this team fails yet again.

The Poverty of Talent on This Maple Leafs’ Team Is Soon to Catch Up to Them

In short, the Maple Leafs are an incomplete team and that fact will soon catch up to them. 

On defense, the team can’t even sign Rasmus Sandin, and Mark Giordano is too old to skate anymore. He’s a pylon.

Mark Giordano, now with the Maple Leafs

If you were to poll the Maple Leafs’ fans about what’s excited them about this offseason’s moves, their answer would be a quick “Nothing.” 


How Can Any Fan Be Excited About the Team This Season?

Seriously, it’s tough to generate any enthusiasm about any of the players competing for roster spots in training camp. That’s true about Jarnkrok, Aube-Kubel, Malign, or Gaudette. Will any of them even be on the opening-night roster? Even worse, will any of them hit NHL ice during the regular season at all? 

Even the players who will compete for jobs who’ve been on the Marlies – like Nick Robertson or Joey Anderson don’t have what it takes. The Maple Leafs are rolling the dice on all these players, and the dice are weighted against them. 

Seriously, can anyone see a better team emerging from this group of retreads that would make them better than last year’s team? 

By the Way, This is Exactly What Fans Said Last Offseason

Back to reality.

In truth, the narrative about this season’s team is no different than the narrative that was going around last offseason when players like David Kampf, Michael Bunting, Nick Ritchie, Ondrej Kase, and Petr Mrazek came to the team. 

Sure, not all these players worked out well. But some worked out very well.

Is there a lesson here? That’s a rhetorical question. There is.

David Kampf, played great last season with the Maple Leafs

Given that – as Maple Leafs’ fans – none of us are like Biff in Back to the Future and have a sports almanac containing 50 years of outcomes of sporting events. We can’t see into the future. As a result, it’s impossible to know how this season’s team will do.

But here’s the reminder. The kinds of things I said in this post are things I’ve been hearing from Maple Leafs’ fans for weeks. The fans might be right, but I can’t know – yet. 

This is exactly what most of us were all saying this time last year.

How wrong we all were. That team set franchise records for wins and points.

Related: Maple Leafs’ Victor Mete Reunited with Old Friend Mitch Marner



  1. Robert

    August 1, 2022 at 8:17 am

    I actually dida deep dive on the new guys and with the systems in place we might actually be better this year. The potential for breakout seasons from guys like audette, Murray and mette is real.

    • Old Prof

      August 2, 2022 at 12:49 am

      Thanks Robert for your comments – we share similar ideas –

      • Steph O'Leary (@Sportsnutz34)

        August 8, 2022 at 12:40 am

        I see the Leafs putting the supporting pieces around the elite core. They are on track to win multiple cups. Dubas is so underrated it sickens me. The amount of sheer creativity to continue building despite the Cap going flat and fixing Uncle Lou’s horrible signings like Marleau and Zaitsev. This guy is excellent at finding cheap diamonds in the rough and is just as savvy at the draft table never afraid to trade down for an extra pick in the later rounds. I live in the Soo and know Kyle well enough to say he has a VERY unique (and rare) vision for building a winner. I see a ton of potential in the moves made thus far this summer the team has a ton of depth and potential! I understand the reason for the Leafs fans skepticism given its been 55 years and the league has added 27 teams since they last won the cup but I also understand how special the organization as a whole is special and just because I understand I would recommend that the so called fans move on to another team! I really enjoy your work Prof! Keep up the great work!

  2. afp1961

    August 1, 2022 at 8:26 am

    Love the sarcasm Jim.

    Dubas has gone fishing yet again. Perhaps its like the year prior when he signed Ben Harpur et al…..rather than the 21-22 season signings but still he had loads of risk in each free agency class signings.

    This year, I rather like the depth, youth and energy that some of these guys may inject. Clearly Simmonds and Clifford are over the hill and should retire/be waived/go to the marlies. The 3rd line desperately needs some offense as they have lost 40 goals between Mikey & Kase leaving. Will Jarnkrok and more of Engvall fill the void? Time will tell.

    Goaltending will be the great mystery until game #20. Like that both keepers will be motivated to show their value but that is all just words, as any goalie would be looking to show their value.

    Dubas keep it interesting thats for sure. Im positive he is not done. Still a big more impactful move involving Kerfoot, Holl, Sandin should happen prior to Oct 10th.

    • Old Prof

      August 2, 2022 at 12:52 am

      Thanks – it seemed like another way to come at the same point – I appreciate you weighing in so regularly – thanks.

  3. Jon Harding

    August 1, 2022 at 9:23 am

    Yes – good satire OP. For the record, I was onboard last year. This year, as l’ve said preciously, it’s wait and see, at least for me. Speaking of which, I see you and others have included both Dennis Malgin and Joey Anderson in your discussions about players potentially securing roster spots. I am willing to make a friendly wager with anyone here and now that neither plays more than seven games with the Leafs this coming season.

    • Old Prof

      August 2, 2022 at 12:53 am

      You might be right Jon, but of the two I like Anderson’s chances – he plays with the kind of an edge.

  4. Brian

    August 1, 2022 at 9:24 am

    I would argue we are better actually don’t kid yourself our goaltending was well below average last year and therefore can’t be worse than 27th overall in GAA

    • Old Prof

      August 2, 2022 at 12:56 am

      You know – you could be right – the more I looked at it more objectively (I really liked Campbell) the more I came to believe the deep numbers suggested that the team’s defense made it easier for last season’s goalies to show well.

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  8. Greg

    August 2, 2022 at 6:15 am

    The goaltending is the area I really question, but really what are you going to do. The Cap situation dictates a weak spot somewhere. Pick your poison. Dubas has really backed the Leafs into the corner with a top heavy salary structure. This team is the Florida Panthers in a different sweater. You can’t score your way out of trouble once the playoffs start.

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  11. Jim Gordon

    August 2, 2022 at 9:11 am

    After reading this arcticle I have to wonder the reasoning for either pro or con comments. Analizing all things It’s seldom all one way.

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