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Maple Leafs Survey On UFA Priorities Produces Interesting Results

We conducted a survey and asked Leaf fans to tell us who should be the priority when it comes to the team’s own UFAs.

Before putting this post together, we created a poll that was sent out to close to a few thousand Toronto Maple Leafs fans and asked, “If you were GM Kyle Dubas, who would be your priority internally when it comes to re-signing your own UFAs?” The idea was to get a sense of what Leafs Nation might be thinking and if Zach Hyman was the clear-cut winner when it comes to making sure he, above all other 14 pending UFAs on this Leafs roster was the priority.

While Hyman was, in fact, the clear winner (as we figured he might be). The survey produced some interesting results were weren’t exactly expecting.

Related: Foligno Reveals Maple Leafs’ Secret to Success? How They See the Game

Jason Spezza hat trick Maple Leafs
Jason Spezza hat trick Maple Leafs

First off, with around 857 votes cast in the first couple hours of the survey, 588 were for Hyman. That’s over 68.6% of Maple Leafs fans on these two FB groups — Leafs Nation and Maple Leafs Central — alone that believe the forward is the top priority. That’s not counting our own Facebook page where more than 74% of the votes were for Hyman.

We knew Hyman was going to popular, but that number is incredible.

Interestingly, a clear second place was Nick Foligno. I say interestingly, because there was never a hint from the Maple Leafs organization or general manager Kyle Dubas that Foligno was anything more than a rental. And, considering the wealth of forwards Toronto has, that the veteran is second in the voting came as a bit of a shock. Again, of the 857 votes between the two Facebook groups, 140 were for Foligno. That’s 16.3% of the total vote. On our own Facebook page, Foligno got 13.5% of the vote.

On our Twitter pole, Hyman sits with 75.9% of the vote, while Foligno has 10.3%.

For Foligno, who is now a point per game player in Toronto, a good portion of Maple Leafs fans seem to have fallen in love with the idea of trying to keep him around, even though most gamblers wouldn’t take those odds. Most believe he’ll wind up back in Columbus, but one comment on the survey read, “Based on everything I’ve read…he’s like Wendel in Columbus….loves the community they love him…. ” Another wrote, “Trade Andersen, make Campbell the starter and re-sign both Foligno and Hyman.”

Leafs UFA Survey a couple hours in

Perhaps also interesting, Jason Spezza is third in all three surveys and that shouldn’t come as a huge shock considering how little he’s being paid and how much he’s producing. Also, Frederik Andersen is not getting much love from Leaf fans. Of the total votes, he’s got only 17 and on our Facebook page, he’s managed to receive only 2.2% of the votes.

Wayne Simmonds got a little love, but many fans seems to have moved on from him when they were very excited to see what he could do when the season began. His injury hasn’t helped his cause. Finally, fans have also seemed to grow out of the idea that Joe Thornton is someone worth keeping around. Of course, this isn’t to say that fans don’t want to see either Simmonds or Thornton back, it’s just that they shouldn’t be a priority. In fact, they are among the last players Dubas should be worried about.

Andersen’s Numbers Are the Most Interesting

While the results being firmly in the corner of Zach Hyman weren’t surprising in the least, that so few fans thought making Andersen a priority suggests one of two things: either Leafs Nation doesn’t see the goaltending as the massive problem many scribes and insiders make it out to be. Or, these fans simply don’t believe Andersen is the guy the Leafs should be looking at.

If it’s the latter, who do the Leafs target out on the trade or free agent market? Jack Campbell is presumably not going anywhere. So who plays with him?

Also Interesting…

Some Leafs fans created their own options on the polls and among them were, “Depends on how much the players are asking” and “lets get through one round of the playoffs first.”

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