The Toronto Maple Leafs blew a 3-0 goal lead last night to the Columbus Blue Jackets. It has a lot of people speculating what will happen if the Leafs get eliminated again.
Let’s be honest, this is not the “rebuilding” New York Rangers or “lucky to have made it” Winnipeg Jets. These are the Maple Leafs with a star studded team made up of Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Morgan Rielly, and Mitch Marner. If they get knocked out, there is no excuse and heads will likely roll.
Toronto Maple Leafs Rumors: Kyle Dubas
Kyle Dubas was the NHL’s front office wunderkind. He became the Leaf’s Assistant General Manager in 2014 at the tender age of 28. Then in 2018, he was given full control as the GM.
The young executive has done a great job amassing talent, but is it the right mix? Leafs fans would be lying to themselves if they said this was a diverse group capable of playing anything but shootout hockey.
So why, fire him? This season, the Leafs had a glaring problem in goal and he did not address it. Instead of giving up Kasperi Kapanen for Alexandar Georgiev as was rumored, he went the cheap route and acquired Jack Campbell from L.A.
In the NHL, you have to give to get. And sometimes you have to overpay in a trade in order to do so. That seems to be a lesson Dubas refuses to learn. It could cost him his job.
Toronto Maple Leafs Rumors: Sheldon Keefe
The potential fallout for any GM being fired is the head coach being replaced. Let’s face it, if you are ultimately responsible for a team’s success, you bring in your guys.
While Sheldon Keefe is a good young coach, maybe he isn’t the right guy for this group of one dimensional superstars. Dubas chose to go the complete opposite direction after firing Mike Babcock and replace him with the 39 year-old Keefe. It seemed to work in the regular season, not so much now.
Keefe, seems to be getting out-coached by the more seasoned John Tortorella in this series. If a new GM is hired, they’d look at coaches like Peter Laviolette or Gerard Gallant immediately. That’s why Sheldon get listed on the chopping block.
Toronto Maple Leafs Rumors: Trading a star?
The Leafs cap issues are apparent with just $4.5 million to play with and an entire line to fill out. Currently, the talk is all about moving Kasperi Kapanen for some relief, that won’t move the needle in changing this team. Matter of fact, he’s the type of player the Leafs should keep.
Toronto needs more playoff battle tested players. They need more North/South players. They may even need a better goalie. Finally, they need more cap room. So who goes?
The three safest players in the lineup are John Tavares, Auston Matthews, and Morgan Rielly. While I think Mitch Marner is going nowhere, the Leafs could get an absolute haul for him. The player most likely to be moved is William Nylander and his $6.9 million cap hit.
Listen, maybe the Leafs win the next two against Columbus and this entire article gets sent to the scrap heap of rumor posts. I am just having a hard time seeing John Tortorella’s Jackets losing two game in a row right now.