First question: is a Morgan Rielly transaction likely?
While I read most of the so-called hockey insiders, the two I consider the most trustworthy are Elliotte Friedman and Chris Johnston. So it was both strange and interesting to read Johnston’s comments on a Steve Dangle podcast that “there would be like one player on this roster on opening night that is going to get everyone excited. I speak like a big name, a big, promising player and no one will see it coming.
Obviously, while on the one hand it sounds a bit too dramatic, it also increases my interest in two ways. First, I care who’s coming. Second, I care who goes. As always, it seems, the biggest issue the Maple Leafs face this offseason is salary cap space. For something exciting to happen as Johnston suggests, the team will need to trade in a baseman with an expensive contract.
Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Which Internal UFAs Will Dubas Re-Sign?
Because GM Kyle Dubas has said he won’t trade Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares or William Nylander, for me there is only one player on the roster that fits the criteria for exchange and it’s Morgan Rielly.
Why Rielly makes sense as a commercial commodity
Rielly makes sense because (a) he has a salary big enough to make a difference, (b) he has an expiring contract that puts Dubas and the organization behind the ball eight as far as options go, (c) he would likely generate interest – especially after a relatively strong playoff series, (d) it is believed it’s time for the Maple Leafs to promote from within (which probably means Rasmus Sandin is considered ready).
Conversely, it’s hard to let someone like Rielly move on. He was just a good citizen and a person I thought was probably a captain. He’s also a hell of a good player.
Why Rielly’s rumors for Kane Rumors don’t make sense
What doesn’t make sense to me is the rumor that nhltraderumors’ Stanley Sweeney argued that the Maple Leafs are talking to the San Jose Sharks and that the two players involved are Rielly and Evander Kane. Although this rumor is attributed to a “source close to the Leafs”, not much about this rumor makes sense to me.
First, there is no doubt that Kane is a good hockey player; however, by reputation he is exactly the kind of player the Maple Leafs have not sought – I believe – in terms of politics. The Maple Leafs are looking for players with character who better fit the Nick Foligno mold. Kane does not appear to be of the same mold.
Second, not much about money makes sense – at least right now during the pandemic squeeze on the fixed salary cap? The only contractual thing Kane is offering the team now is duration. He signed until the 2024-25 season.
Still, as a player, Kane is attractive
Still, the tale is that the Maple Leafs management is looking for a killer instinct and must become even more difficult to contend with. It also makes sense that Dubas is looking for a left winger who is playing a “heavy game”; and, given those desires, Kane might do the trick from a hockey point of view.
Connexes : « M. Hockey’ Gordie Howe
As a player, Kane would fit the Maple Leafs’ second line consisting of John Tavares and William Nylander. And, despite his multiple off-ice issues, even with the Sharks, Kane has never stopped scoring. Collecting 49 points in 56 games last season with this Sharks team seems like quite a feat. The Maple Leafs would score around 30 goals each season based on Kane’s recent work.
While this trade doesn’t make sense to me because it’s Kane coming in, I can see Rielly being moved before he goes through a free agency. Unfortunately, this part of the rumor that I can buy.
Second point: is Frederik Andersen moving to the Pittsburgh Penguins?
Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now has named Frederik Andersen as goalie for the Pittsburgh Penguins. It’s always interesting to read information about the players in the Maple Leafs roster from media sources other than Toronto. Kingerski spins Andersen’s solid body of work and notes that while Andersen has been less than stellar in the regular season, he has strong playoff numbers.
Related: Penguins Should Focus On Maple Leafs List For Upgrades
Andersen is likely to move somewhere, and the fact that the Penguins general manager is former goalie Ron Hextall and Brian Burke is part of the brain trust in Pittsburgh could be a boon to Andersen’s attractiveness. Granted, Burke has criticized the way the Maple Leafs have built this team, so he might view Andersen more as a victim of the Maple Leafs’ organizational incompetence than a cause of the team’s losses in the playoffs. In this case, it would be the system rather than the goalkeeper.
What’s next for the Maple Leafs?
With the return of the NHL regular season schedule to the conference and division model used before the pandemic in 2021-22, next year’s regular season will not be a walk in the park for the Maple Leafs or any of them. teams from the Atlantic division. Even making the playoffs will be tough.
This season, in addition to the Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens, the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers have made the playoffs. Next season, the Ottawa Senators are also expected to be a rising team. The competition is good for the NHL, but it will make the Maple Leafs’ quest for the Stanley Cup even more difficult.
Related: Zach Hyman Won’t Leave Maple Leafs or Toronto
It’s hard not to think the team were one lucky puck away before they ended up in the bottom four. I’m not the type to embrace pessimism; however, it’s hard not to see this 2020-21 season as a missed opportunity for the organization.
If you’re wondering why he doesn’t use his real name, it’s because his son – who is also Jim Parsons – wrote for Hockey writers first and asked Jim Sr. to use another name so that readers wouldn’t confuse their work.
Because Jim Sr. had worked in China, he adopted the Mandarin word for teacher (老師). The first character lǎo (老) means “old” and the second character shī (師) means “teacher”. The literal translation of lǎoshī is “old teacher”. It became his pen name. Today, apart from writing for Hockey writers, he teaches graduate students research design at several Canadian universities.
He can’t wait to share his thoughts on the Toronto Maple Leafs and how the sport is more involved in life. His Twitter address is https://twitter.com/TheOldProf