Forums/Armchair-GM

Balancing the Lineup Without Moving Core 4

Created by: EEEEE15
Initial Creation Date: Aug. 30, 2021
Published: Aug. 31, 2021
Team: 2022-23 Toronto Maple Leafs
Description
First off, I want to let everyone know that this is only what I would want if they lose in round 1 again. If it looks like they could go far with the current team, then I'd keep the chemistry. This is meant to finally balance the lineup which the Leafs desperately need.

1st Line: This is the line I expect will carry over from the previous season. If Ritchie doesn't fit then I can see him switching with Bunting, making the bottom six even tougher to play against.

2nd Line: Tavares and Nylander play together with Robertson graduating to a top-six role. This line could be really dangerous and unpredictable as Nylanders Passing + Robertson's Shot + Tavares Net Front Presence would be an amazing line. All 3 of them also have a great shot so it would be somewhat unpredictable.

Bottom 6A: Instead of the Leafs going with a 3rd and 4th Line, they go with something different. 3A & B lines are meant for different scenarios. This line is meant to be a checking shutdown line. The reason I don't have Ritchie here is that he's not known to be a great two-way player. We start off with Kampf, who is a 6'2 solid shutdown center. He was the guy who limited McDavid's points in that Hawks-Oilers play-in series. Next is Valeri Nichushkin, an analytics darling who's known for a great two-way game. He's a solid 6'4 who can use his size when needed. On LW, we have ZAR, previously known for being a great defensive bottom 6 player for the penguins. ZAR isn't small either, standing at 6'0. He also had 95 hits in the 2020-21 season and is another analytic darling. This would be the shutdown/checking line for the Leafs that would go against other teams' top lines. Other than all 3 known for being great defensive forwards, they also had a combined 205 hits in a combined 165 games, meaning they know how to hit.

Bottom 6B: This line is going to be the line that brings energy back into the lineup while also producing good bottom 6 scoring. Janmark is known for being a great speedy player, Spezza has been outstanding in the past few years and Bunting is also an energetic Hyman-like player.
Simmonds will be the scratch until needed or something doesn't work.

1st D: Since it's uncertain how good Sandin will be by this time, I'm going with Muzzin-Holl as the top pairing, They've been our shutdown pair before and will continue to do so.

2nd D: This could be a really great pairing depending on how quickly Sandin develops. Brodie has been under the radar as one of the most consistent defensemen in playing defense. He rarely ever makes a mistake and we know what we're getting from him. Sandin is supposed to be Rielly's replacement as they have a similar style, but I can see this pairing being even better in a few years because Sandin has a physical edge to him that Rielly didn't.

3rd D: This will be a pairing up for grabs between Soucy, Stecher, and Liljegren. No one knows if Liljegren will be an NHL defenseman by then so this is an uncertain one, but if he isn't by then, Soucy-Stecher would be a solid 3rd line pairing.

The goalie tandem stays Campbell and Mrazek who I think will easily be a top 10 Goalie Tandem if they play like they did the previous season.

Lemme know your thoughts in the comments and what trades work or don't work. Don't get too mad if you see a trade you don't like just lemme know what you'd change. “I'm not looking for the best players. I'm looking for the right players." (Herb Brooks)
Free Agent Signings
RFAYEARSCAP HIT
Sandin, Rasmus3$2,000,000
Liljegren, Timothy2$1,000,000
UFAYEARSCAP HIT
Campbell, Jack3$3,400,000
Spezza, Jason1$750,000
Aston-Reese, Zach2$2,250,000
Nichushkin, Valeri3$3,100,000
Stecher, Troy3$2,150,000
Janmark, Mattias3$2,750,000
Trades
1.
TOR
  1. 2022 3rd round pick (NYI)
NYI
  1. Dermott, Travis
2.
TOR
  1. Soucy, Carson ($1,375,000 retained)
Additional Details:
Seattle gets extra picks for only retaining 1.25 M for 1-year rental.
SEA
  1. 2023 2nd round pick (TOR)
  2. 2023 4th round pick (TOR)
3.
TOR
  1. 2022 3rd round pick (STL)
  2. 2023 3rd round pick (STL)
Additional Details:
I'm saying St. Louis because most of their LWs are ufas this season so this could be an option, in reality any team needing left wing or center depth. Kerfoot would have more value but since he would be a rental it would be less.
STL
  1. Kerfoot, Alexander
DRAFT YEARROUND 1ROUND 2ROUND 3ROUND 4ROUND 5ROUND 6ROUND 7
2022
Logo of the TOR
Logo of the TOR
Logo of the NYI
Logo of the STL
Logo of the TOR
2023
Logo of the TOR
Logo of the TOR
Logo of the STL
Logo of the TOR
Logo of the TOR
2024
Logo of the TOR
Logo of the TOR
Logo of the TOR
Logo of the TOR
Logo of the TOR
Logo of the TOR
Logo of the TOR
ROSTER SIZESALARY CAPCAP HITOVERAGES TooltipBONUSESCAP SPACE
22$82,500,000$82,564,783$212,500$0-$64,783
Left WingCentreRight Wing
Logo of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Ritchie, Nick
$2,500,000
LW
UFA - 1
Logo of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Matthews, Auston
$11,640,250
C
UFA - 2
Logo of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Marner, Mitchell
$10,903,000
RW
UFA - 3
Logo of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Robertson, Nicholas
$796,667
LW
RFA - 2
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Tavares, John
$11,000,000
C
NMC
UFA - 3
Logo of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Nylander, William
$6,962,366
RW, LW
UFA - 2
Aston-Reese, Zach
$2,250,000
LW, RW
UFA - 1
Logo of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Kämpf, David
$1,500,000
C
UFA - 1
Nichushkin, Valeri
$3,100,000
RW, LW
UFA - 8
Logo of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Bunting, Michael
$950,000
LW
UFA - 1
Janmark, Mattias
$2,750,000
LW
UFA - 1
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Spezza, Jason
$750,000
C, RW
UFA
Left DefenseRight DefenseGoaltender
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Muzzin, Jake
$5,625,000
LD
NTC
UFA - 2
Logo of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Holl, Justin
$2,000,000
RD
M-NTC
UFA - 1
Logo of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Mrázek, Petr
$3,800,000
G
M-NTC
UFA - 2
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Sandin, Rasmus
$2,000,000
LD
RFA - 2
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Brodie, TJ
$5,000,000
LD/RD
NTC
UFA - 2
Logo of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Campbell, Jack
$3,400,000
G
UFA - 5
Logo of the Seattle Kraken
Soucy, Carson
$1,375,000
LD/RD
UFA - 1
Stecher, Troy
$2,150,000
RD
UFA - 1
ScratchesInjured Reserve (IR)Long Term IR (LTIR)
Logo of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Liljegren, Timothy
$1,000,000
RD
RFA - 2
Logo of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Simmonds, Wayne
$900,000
RW, LW
M-NTC
UFA - 1

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Aug. 31, 2021 at 12:03 a.m.
#1
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This is very in-depth! I like it, great job!
EEEEE15 and jaok3 liked this.
Aug. 31, 2021 at 2:04 a.m.
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Tacit_14793
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Quoting: ItsEloc
This is very in-depth! I like it, great job!


Thx idk why but I actually put a lot of effort on it. Too much free time lol!
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Aug. 31, 2021 at 7:06 a.m.
#3
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Literally every team sends their best lines against the other teams best lines because everyone knows that is the smartest play. Or at least most teams do that. This line would get ripped apart by top lines. Matthews is going to be the guy going up against top lines. Having Kampf isn't so we never put the top dogs against other top dogs it's to improve the PK and if you get stuck with your top guys on the bench you have someone with a better chance of not immediately getting scored on who will try to get the puck out of the zone and off the ice. The best shutdown lines are not 3rd lines. The best defensive player in Tampa is Point. The best in Florida is Barkov, the best in Boston is Bergeron etc etc. This notion that a shutdown line is still a think is so ridiculous.
Aug. 31, 2021 at 9:18 a.m.
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Quoting: PleaseBanMeForMyOwnGood
Literally every team sends their best lines against the other teams best lines because everyone knows that is the smartest play. Or at least most teams do that. This line would get ripped apart by top lines. Matthews is going to be the guy going up against top lines. Having Kampf isn't so we never put the top dogs against other top dogs it's to improve the PK and if you get stuck with your top guys on the bench you have someone with a better chance of not immediately getting scored on who will try to get the puck out of the zone and off the ice. The best shutdown lines are not 3rd lines. The best defensive player in Tampa is Point. The best in Florida is Barkov, the best in Boston is Bergeron etc etc. This notion that a shutdown line is still a think is so ridiculous.


And what Danault did with Matthews in the playoffs last year supports this how?
Aug. 31, 2021 at 9:20 a.m.
#5
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Biggest issue I have here (not that I don't appreciate the thought process), is the money again tied up in the 3rd line. Totally the right type.of player, but the contracts again will handcuff the Leafs financially.
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Aug. 31, 2021 at 12:02 p.m.
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Tacit_14793
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Quoting: swinny
Biggest issue I have here (not that I don't appreciate the thought process), is the money again tied up in the 3rd line. Totally the right type.of player, but the contracts again will handcuff the Leafs financially.


I can see where you're going with this but all of those contracts are easily tradable when needed. I think the leafs haven't had a proper checking line in a while. Id much rather put players like bunting and robertson on league minimum with the top lines because great players make others better. Every bottom 6 contract can be traded. This also allows as to change lines as players such as nichushkin can play on the top 6 as well. Leafs will always be in cap hell in the matthews era of contending, might as well have a proper playoff lineup.
Aug. 31, 2021 at 12:19 p.m.
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Quoting: EEEEE15
I can see where you're going with this but all of those contracts are easily tradable when needed. I think the leafs haven't had a proper checking line in a while. Id much rather put players like bunting and robertson on league minimum with the top lines because great players make others better. Every bottom 6 contract can be traded. This also allows as to change lines as players such as nichushkin can play on the top 6 as well. Leafs will always be in cap hell in the matthews era of contending, might as well have a proper playoff lineup.


Lol. Hard to disagree with cap hell lol.

I think Nikushkin can be had for a little less, but you are wrong in saying the Leafs haven't had a checking line in a while...... improving the defense doesn't always mean getting a defenseman. Can be done with the forward corps too.
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Aug. 31, 2021 at 12:24 p.m.
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Tacit_14793
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Quoting: swinny
Lol. Hard to disagree with cap hell lol.

I think Nikushkin can be had for a little less, but you are wrong in saying the Leafs haven't had a checking line in a while...... improving the defense doesn't always mean getting a defenseman. Can be done with the forward corps too.


See unlike some people, i think the leafs d core has always been solid, they just need a harder to play against bottom six, which is what the point of this is. Last year we had a third line of Hyman-Kerfoot-Mikheyev which was great but didn't last long cause hyman played in the top line. If we can have our bottom 6 be responsible and also provide great scoring, i think that's what'll finally get us over the hump, as well as our stars performing. Also for the nichushkin contract i checked a few avs ACGMs and they were all resigning him for 3M+ so I guessed thats prolly what the contract would be.
Aug. 31, 2021 at 12:35 p.m.
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Quoting: swinny
And what Danault did with Matthews in the playoffs last year supports this how?


Matthews hit the post 3 or 4 times in the series. That is how close it could have gone completely different. Danault didn't slow down Matthews. Marner did but that's entirely besides the point.
Aug. 31, 2021 at 3:16 p.m.
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Quoting: PleaseBanMeForMyOwnGood
Matthews hit the post 3 or 4 times in the series. That is how close it could have gone completely different. Danault didn't slow down Matthews. Marner did but that's entirely besides the point.


Danault's line shut down the Matthews line. It was pretty obvious I games 5-7.
Aug. 31, 2021 at 5:05 p.m.
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Quoting: swinny
Danault's line shut down the Matthews line. It was pretty obvious I games 5-7.


Only because they didn't score. They dominated the possession, shots, scoring chances, and every other conceivable statistic. I do think Marner played like crap in the series though. Shot when he should have passed and passed when he should have shot. Held the puck way too long on the PP and all together was in his own head. He needs to stop wanting to be the hero and do everything to help Matthews or JT be the hero. It cost the Leafs the series.
 
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