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Toronto Maple Leafs

Maple Leafs Quick Hits: Reaves, Domi, Bertuzzi & Samsonov

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been building their roster for the 2023-24 regular season. What’s happening on the news front for the team?

In this edition of Toronto Maple Leafs Quick Hits, I’ll look at the news that’s emerging from the team.

Related: 5 Reasons Maple Leafs Are a Better Team This Year Than Last

Maple Leafs Quick Hit News Items

Quick Hit One: Roster Additions Seem to Improve Team

The Maple Leafs made proactive moves to acquire players with different skill sets. The team aims to bring toughness and grit to its lineup. Ryan Reaves, Max Domi, and Tyler Bertuzzi’s additions reshape the team’s on-ice personality and make them a more challenging opponent.

Quick Hit Two: Quiet Dressing Room

General Manager Brad Treliving recognized the need to improve the “quiet” Maple Leafs’ dressing room environment. To do so, the team added players like Reaves and Domi. They infuse competitiveness, life, and toughness into the team. The goal is to build a battling culture and create a more challenging environment for opponents. These new players change the team’s dynamics.

Ryan Reaves Toronto Maple Leafs
Ryan Reaves Toronto Maple Leafs

Quick Hit Three: Interest in Brian Elliott

The Maple Leafs are rumored to be interested in goaltender Brian Elliott. Is their current goaltending situation problematic? Perhaps, Joseph Woll’s NHL experience is limited. Matt Murray probably won’t return due to salary-cap constraints. As a result, Elliott could serve as a backup goalie for the team. Or, he could be assigned to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies to stay ready.

Quick Hit Four: Importance of Change for Change’s Sake

The Maple Leafs’ offseason moves are a departure from the previous season’s lineup. General Manager Treliving has made significant changes. He added defenseman John Klingberg and top-six forwards Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi, strengthening the team’s scoring abilities.

Change, in itself, could be an important intangible. Could it spur the team’s success? As well, Treliving wanted to address dressing room issues and create a competitive and physical team. That he’s done.

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Domi, Elliott, Bertuzzi & Reaves

Quick Hit Five: The Potential Impact of the New Attitude

The Maple Leafs’ culture and mental attitude could undergo positive changes with the new roster. The team’s on-ice skills will remain important. However, adding players with intangibles and different ways of playing could transform the team’s narrative. The question remains whether these changes will positively impact the team’s performance during the postseason.

Quick Hit Six: Maple Leafs’ Odds Dropped

Interestingly, with these changes, the Maple Leafs’ odds of winning the Stanley Cup have decreased in the eyes of oddsmakers. That change followed the departure of several free agents. The team’s odds dropped from 10/1 to 14/1. It reflected concerns about their roster changes and the potential impact on their strength and depth.

Quick Hit Seven: Nylander Contract Negotiations

The Maple Leafs are currently negotiating a new contract with forward William Nylander. Nylander’s seeking a salary of $10 million or more, while the team aims to stay under $9 million. If an agreement is not reached before training camp in September, a trade might be considered. In fact, the rumor is that it’s already being talked about.

William Nylander Toronto Maple Leafs NHL
William Nylander Toronto Maple Leafs NHL

Quick Hit Eight: Projected Forward Lineup

The projected forward lineup for the Maple Leafs for next season has changed from this time last year. The forward lines feature new signings, which have shifted the team toward a more physical style of play. The defensive pairings remain largely unchanged, with John Klingberg is now the only notable addition.

Quick Hit Nine: Projected Defensive Pairings

The defensive pairings for the Maple Leafs are projected to include (first-pairing) Morgan Rielly – T.J. Brodie, (second-pairing) Jake McCabe – John Klingberg, and (third-pairing) Mark Giordano – Timothy Liljegren. Depth defensemen Connor Timmins and Max Lajoie are included as extras.

Quick Hit Ten: Projected Goaltending Duo

The projected goaltending twosome will likely be Samsonov as the starter and Woll as the backup. Murray, who has been plagued by injuries, will likely not be part of the roster come October.

Related: MITCH MARNER EXCITED ABOUT NEW MAPLE LEAFS SIGNINGS

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. gfinale

    July 14, 2023 at 2:50 am

    O’Rielly was only going to play for the Leafs from the deadline to the end of the playoffs. We all knew he wasn’t going to stay as he was going to fetch too much of a contract on the open market. The point is, comparing who the Leafs have this regular season as opposed to last regular season should not include O’Reilly. He was only around for the playoffs, not the regular season last year and wasn’t going to be around this season. When viewed in this manner, the additions of Bertuzzi, Domi and Reaves are much bigger!

  2. gfinale

    July 14, 2023 at 2:54 am

    Treliving has said and I agree with the Leafs needing 3 main goalies, 2 in the lineup and one waiting in the wings if needed. That 3rd goalie has got to be Murray or someone they acquire because the Leafs have nobody else ready in the organization. It comes down to whether Murray makes sense and he really doesn’t because, first and foremost, they can’t count on him AT ALL. As has been evident during the Dubas era, the Leafs can’t usually just grab a decent main goalie when they need one in a rush!

  3. gfinale

    July 14, 2023 at 3:03 am

    The odds probably dropped because these off season changes are a real clear announcement that the team wasn’t built right. The natural extension of which is if the team wasn’t built right, who is to say it is now?! The Dubas era has been a foolish illusion.

  4. gfinale

    July 14, 2023 at 3:06 am

    Nylander should go play for a losing team and extort every dine he can from them.

  5. Jon Harding

    July 14, 2023 at 8:48 am

    I would encourage every Leafs fan out there to also read Dave Feschuk in the Star today. His piece titled “Leafs forwards Aston Matthews, William Nylander will show what their priorities are in contract talks” is the best – all due respect OP – item written about the Leafs so far this summer.

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