Blame themselves for what exactly?
Are they forfeiting the season because their players are too expensive?
as I said the moment the Matthews contract was inked. The leafs did it to themselves. They way overpaid Matthews which left them with no choice but to also overpay Marner. They have only themselves to blame.
I think people are struggling to see the truth behind their current criticism of Toronto: "you can't fill out a team around those 4 contracts".
Their argument does makes sense ... but it's only one perspective of the situation (the worst possible perspective).
Lets widen the lens a bit and compare the new cap situation to other NHL teams.
Can Toronto afford to build a team around the Top-9 forwards that they've locked in?
$11,630,000 x 5 years = Matthews
$11,000,000 x 6 years = Tavares
$10,890,000 x 6 years = Marner
$6,960,000 x 5 years = Nylander
$3,500,000 x 4 years = Kerfoot
$3,400,000 x 4 years = Johnsson
$3,200,000 x 3 years = Kapanen
$2,250,000 x 2 years = Hyman
$770,000 x 2 years = Moore (or replacement)
$53,600,000 = Total Cap-Hit
$5,950,000 = Average Cap-Hit
The answer to this question is an easy yes .
Many teams are actually spending a similar amount or more on their top 9 forwards (their 9 most expensive forwards).
But most of them don't have a forward group this talented:
Johnsson - Matthews - Nylander
Hyman - Tavares - Marner
Moore - Kerfoot - Kappy
However ... I still don't think Dubas did a very good job ... why TF did Lou not get one more year to negotiate these contracts ...