Forums/Armchair-GM

Alot of ifs

Created by: Hammerwise
Initial Creation Date: Aug 2, 2021
Published: Aug 2 at 5:06
Team: 2021-22 Toronto Maple Leafs
Team Explanation
Can 26 yr old Bunting show that he is good, after just 20 some games, is that enough to say hes a late bloomer or is he just a borderline AHL/NHLer who was in the right time/right place to produce in a very small sample size? (21 yr old wade allison scored 7pts in 14 games, but I dont think that qualifies him as a 40+ pt guy for example)
After hardly playing and having major concussion issues, is Kase a good bet over an 80 game season? (his best season was 38 pts back in 2017)
Can Spezza and Simmonds find the fountain of youth and play a full season (Simmonds couldn;t last yr, and the team desperatyely needs simmonds physicality)?
Is Ritchie the 137 pts in 350 pts a solid all around 3rd line guy, or could he play more minutes and deliver offensively more than 35+ pts?
Can Dermott play RD with Sandin? Is Sandin ready and able on both sides of the puck? Dermott and Sandin looked bad in the playoffs defensively. Muzzin is a year older, can the younger guys take some minutes off him?
Can Campbell or Mrazek step up?
Can Kampf provide enough offense to be a third liner? He never has, but with offensive wingers, he could be. But does a 3rd line defensive pivot work with 2 wingers who are just average defensively? Hes never scored 20 pts in a season, or even played 80 games. A 3rd line of kKerfoot/kampf and kase sounds good, but can robertson play top 2 lines? Does Kampf alone provide defense in the bottom 6?
Is Robertson ready? Can the 3rd or 4th line provide more offense than last year, or bring eneregy and solid defense?

Overall, collectively I like the moves they're made, and believe the forward corps is better than last year, but theres alot of ifs.

A third of the team on the last year of their team favourable contracts, with most looking for pay increases (Reilly, Campbell, liljegren, sandin, kase) with no wiggle room. Still very thin after the top 6 forwards (but better) and big questions in the 5-7th dman corps. Tougher division and one last ride?

If the weaknesses of last year were team and offensive depth, physicality and grit, do the additions bring more than the subtractions (namely Gally, Bogosian, Foligno, Hyman)? i don;t know. IMO Kase is better than Gally (IF he can stay healthy). Ritchie is probably equal to Foligno, with a higher offensive upside, but less leadership and defense, is Sandin, Liljegren a better 6th-7th than Bogosian? The defense gets more skilled, but less physical. Can kerfoot/ritchie/bunting make up collectively for what most experts see Hyman as, the above average all around winger? Does Kampf alone bring solid defense to a bottom 6 that lacks speed and defense?
Free Agent Signings
UFAYEARSCAP HIT
Ho-Sang, Joshua3$925,000
Trades
1.
TOR
  1. 2022 4th round pick (ANA)
  2. 2022 5th round pick (ANA)
ANA
  1. Mikheyev, Ilya
  2. Engvall, Pierre
Retained Salary Transactions
  • Phil Kessel: $1,200,000 (15%)
DRAFT YEARROUND 1ROUND 2ROUND 3ROUND 4ROUND 5ROUND 6ROUND 7
2022
TOR
TOR
ANA
ANA
TOR
2023
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
2024
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
TOR
ROSTER SIZESALARY CAPCAP HITOVERAGES BONUSESCAP SPACE
22$81,500,000$80,909,783$0$400,000$590,217
Left WingCenterRight Wing
TOR
Kerfoot, Alexander
$3,500,000
C, LW
UFA - 2
TOR
Matthews, Auston
$11,640,250
C
UFA - 3
TOR
Marner, Mitchell
$10,903,000
RW
UFA - 4
TOR
Ritchie, Nick
$2,500,000
LW
UFA - 2
TOR
Tavares, John
$11,000,000
C
NMC
UFA - 4
TOR
Nylander, William
$6,962,366
RW, LW
UFA - 3
TOR
Robertson, Nicholas
$796,667
LW
RFA - 3
TOR
Kämpf, David
$1,500,000
C, RW
UFA - 2
TOR
Kase, Ondrej
$1,250,000
RW
RFA - 1
TOR
Bunting, Michael
$950,000
LW
UFA - 2
TOR
Spezza, Jason
$750,000
C, RW
UFA - 1
TOR
Simmonds, Wayne
$900,000
RW, LW
NTC
UFA - 2
TOR
Brooks, Adam
$725,000
C
RFA - 1
Left DefenseRight DefenseGoaltender
TOR
Muzzin, Jake
$5,625,000
LD
NTC
UFA - 3
TOR
Brodie, TJ
$5,000,000
RD
NTC
UFA - 3
TOR
Mrázek, Petr
$3,800,000
G
NTC
UFA - 3
TOR
Rielly, Morgan
$5,000,000
LD
NMC
UFA - 1
TOR
Holl, Justin
$2,000,000
RD
NTC
UFA - 2
TOR
Campbell, Jack
$1,650,000
G
UFA - 1
TOR
Sandin, Rasmus
$894,167
LD
RFA - 1
TOR
Dermott, Travis
$1,500,000
LD/RD
RFA - 2
TOR
Liljegren, Timothy
$863,333
RD
RFA - 1

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Aug 2 at 7:25
#1
TheBulinWall
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 955
Likes: 303
Feelings mutual, also can Campbell hold down the fort against teams in the Atlantic like Boston, Tampa and Florida. I think if Ho-Sangs coming in on a PTO we can get sign him to a Joey Anderson like contract
Hammerwise liked this.
Aug 2 at 7:27
#2
Lenny7
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 8,594
Likes: 5,999
Lots of good questions. Not a Leafs fan, but IMO:

-Bunting is probably a bottom 6 guy. Banking on that 26.3% shooting percentage is dangerous. Banking on him for below a mil per year isn't a bad move, it probably just doesn't have as much upside as some people think.
-Spezza and Simmonds are who they are at this point. I'd fully expect Simmonds to end up in the press box as a regular at some point this year. If the team is playing him regularly, it's because something went drastically wrong.
-The next two, Kase and Ritchie, are kind of funny to me. As a Ducks fan, I've seen them play a bunch, and they both have shown that they're very solid, but then flip around and disappear. Kase is the better of the two, but obviously the concussion issues are a thing. He's been the victim of a criminally low shooting percentage the past couple of years, so he's probably more of a 15-20 G/40 pt guy *if he's healthy*. The potential to slide up in the lineup could be a good opportunity for him to break out as well. He's solid both ways, but if this is the way the lineup is put together, I'd be a bit worried about having that 3rd line starting in their own zone too often. As for Ritchie, he's going to make Leafs fans love him, then absolutely loathe him. He's a 10 game spurt guy. He'll look like a solid top 6 guy for 10 games, then absolutely disappear for 10 games.
-Dermott can play that bottom pair, no problem, but is it time for Lilly? Sandin was decent, but had a couple of major gaffs in that first round that led to Montreal making him look like a fool. I'd imagine he'll be able to take the next step this season, and potentially be ready to step up if (when?) Rielly walks.
-I wouldn't be too concerned about the goaltending *yet*. Campbell was solid all season, and wasn't bad in the playoffs (He just ran into Carey Price). I was pretty surprised that it was 3 years for Mrazek, but time will tell.
-I have no issue with Kampf on the 3rd line, but IMO, putting Robertson there with him isn't a great idea. Switch him and Ritchie?

Honestly, the Leafs look solid, but man...that division is going to be tough this year. Tampa is still great. Florida is solid and has improved. Boston *may* take a step back this year based on whether they can either fill that 2C hole or have Studnicka step up, Montreal could ride their hot playoffs into the regular season? If I were to peg the division right now, I'd say:

-Tampa
-Florida
-Toronto
-Boston/Montreal
-Montreal/Boston
-Ottawa
-Detroit
-Buffalo
Hammerwise and TooMalevolent liked this.
Aug 2 at 8:00
#3
Thread Starter
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 2,299
Likes: 595
Quoting: Lenny7
Lots of good questions. Not a Leafs fan, but IMO:

-Bunting is probably a bottom 6 guy. Banking on that 26.3% shooting percentage is dangerous. Banking on him for below a mil per year isn't a bad move, it probably just doesn't have as much upside as some people think.
-Spezza and Simmonds are who they are at this point. I'd fully expect Simmonds to end up in the press box as a regular at some point this year. If the team is playing him regularly, it's because something went drastically wrong.
-The next two, Kase and Ritchie, are kind of funny to me. As a Ducks fan, I've seen them play a bunch, and they both have shown that they're very solid, but then flip around and disappear. Kase is the better of the two, but obviously the concussion issues are a thing. He's been the victim of a criminally low shooting percentage the past couple of years, so he's probably more of a 15-20 G/40 pt guy *if he's healthy*. The potential to slide up in the lineup could be a good opportunity for him to break out as well. He's solid both ways, but if this is the way the lineup is put together, I'd be a bit worried about having that 3rd line starting in their own zone too often. As for Ritchie, he's going to make Leafs fans love him, then absolutely loathe him. He's a 10 game spurt guy. He'll look like a solid top 6 guy for 10 games, then absolutely disappear for 10 games.
-Dermott can play that bottom pair, no problem, but is it time for Lilly? Sandin was decent, but had a couple of major gaffs in that first round that led to Montreal making him look like a fool. I'd imagine he'll be able to take the next step this season, and potentially be ready to step up if (when?) Rielly walks.
-I wouldn't be too concerned about the goaltending *yet*. Campbell was solid all season, and wasn't bad in the playoffs (He just ran into Carey Price). I was pretty surprised that it was 3 years for Mrazek, but time will tell.
-I have no issue with Kampf on the 3rd line, but IMO, putting Robertson there with him isn't a great idea. Switch him and Ritchie?

Honestly, the Leafs look solid, but man...that division is going to be tough this year. Tampa is still great. Florida is solid and has improved. Boston *may* take a step back this year based on whether they can either fill that 2C hole or have Studnicka step up, Montreal could ride their hot playoffs into the regular season? If I were to peg the division right now, I'd say:

-Tampa
-Florida
-Toronto
-Boston/Montreal
-Montreal/Boston
-Ottawa
-Detroit
-Buffalo


Definitely agree. I'm just not sure Kase has that upper level, (never mind the fact that hes a real poor risk to make it through the season), his best year was just 38 pts and that was 4 seasons ago. I also think you'll see some rust/hesitancy for someone as fragile. But for the price, its worth the risk. But I just cant see him or Bunting or Ritchie becoming 40+ pt guys overnight, but collectively they are better than who they're replacing (except hyman).

As far as the young dmen, Liljegren is in his 3rd year and hasn;t had much more than a cup of coffee in the NHL. Sandin looks offensively promising, but is 3rd pair the place with a RD Dermott. Dermott is an okay 3rd pairing guy, but hes not a pt producing puck rusher, or a stay at home crease clearer, just not sure Dermott is the RD partner for Sandin, and Sandin and Liljegren are too raw to pair together. Toronto hasn;t had this amazing dman corps that Liljegren couldn;t crack, and I think Toronto is what they were last year and the year before: Very top heavy, and filling gaps with low low salaries, very reliant on winning games 5-4, 5-3, 4-3 as I just dont think their defense and team defense has massively improved
Back to their old division, I think they'll be good, but same issues exist.
Lenny7 liked this.
 
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