Forums/Armchair-GM

My Way Too Early 2022 2023 Predictions With Explanations

Created by: Nathaniel
Initial Creation Date: Jun. 17, 2022
Published: Jun. 20, 2022
Team: 2022-23 Toronto Maple Leafs
Team Explanation
I dont think the Leafs are going to have a very active offseason. The team is in a good spot and will maybe make one low risk high reward FA signing. Last year I was very high on Michael Bunting after his great stretch of play with team Canada at the IIHF tournament. He was a low risk-high reward guy, and while guys like that don't grow on trees, I think someone like that will be near the top of the list. Let me break down some of my moves on here:

FA Signings

- Andreas Athanasiou: I really wanted Athanasiou last year when it came out that LA may not qualify him, but in the end they got him for another year. He is a (sort of) local kid who plays a very intriguing game. If Mikheyev walks, which I think is likely, I think one of Athanasiou or Paul would slot in nicely. Miles Wood could also be a nice add but I just can't see NJ not resigning him. Paul will also likely be very pricey so ultimately I think Athanasiou would be great. Very fast, very strong, plays with a bit of bite / dirt (ie. the time he took a run at Kerfoot during his time in Detroit), and has also posted 30 goals in a season. That season is a bit of an outlier and he's usually good for ~15, but it still happened. I personally like the fit and LA may look to move on due to his injuries, their rising stars fighting for a roster stop, and their lack of commitment to him last offseason, only signing him 1 year. He's a guy I would take a flyer on for sure.

- Veteran 4C: Now, I'm not exactly sure who this could be. Sam Gagners name has been floated around recently, but I don't know how to feel about it. On one hand he's coming off of a good year, is friends with good old Captain Johnny, and has a stake in the Toronto Malboroes. On the other hand, I think a kid line would bring more to this team and there are also some other vets out there that are more intriguing. Trevor Lewis is a good I would like but I'm not sure he would want to come to TOR. Cogliano could also be a really nice 1 year guy. The Athletic has thrown out names like Helm, Stepan, former Leaf legend Brian Boyle, or actual Leafs legend Tyler Bozak, but I can't really see any of them being signed. Let me know who you guys think could fit this role. Personally I want Cogliano or Lewis, so Ill go with Cogliano for the sake of this ACGM.

Trades

- Duszak / Myers: This trade is not my own original idea (as much as I want to take credit for it), but instead from Matthewsfan. I think it makes quite a bit of sense from both sides. Duszak is an explosive offensive RD who just put up one of the best statlines I've seen from a defenseman in the AHL. Unfortunately for him, Toronto has no shortage of offensive defenseman between Rielly, Sandin, Villeneuve, and Niemela. He is a genuine talent who deserves a shot, but he won't find it in Toronto. Myers is a big bodied RD who has already spent some time in Torontos system with the Marlies. His arrival to the Marlies came suspiciously close to the time we traded Biega to the Preds for FC, so it's not far off to assume Toronto's future considerations may have been Myers. Obviously Toronto didn't want to commit to his full cap hit so we have these shenanigans going on. Buying Myers out literally gives us caphit in some kind of way that is well out of my understanding. This kind of Tom foolery scream Pridham and Dubas to me. I really like Myers and if we can get him cheap then this would make a lot of sense.

- Holl / Pick: Holl is an enigma. He is a genuinely good player who gets annihilated by the Leafs fanbase for his flaws that are honestly few and far between. Serviceable guy on a good contract for a team that isn't extremely Cap strapped. Earlier in the 2020 season, some people had him as an earlier season Norris candidate which will never not be funny to me. I think for a 4th or even a 5th, Holl would be a nice add. His style screams Dallas to me but it could really be any team.

- Kerfoot / Picks: Kerfoot is another guy that is an infamous Toronto scape goat. If I could keep him, I would. He plays center, wing, PK, PP, the whole shebang. Keefe loves coaching him and he's coming off of a career year. Super versatile and was very dynamic this year. I think (not confidently) that Anaheim may be a decent landing spot. They had a soft-sellers deadline, but I still dont regard them as sellers. They're deadline set them up quite nicely for not only the future, but also the now. Kerfoot is only owed 750k (I think), and will probably land on a team looking to push for the playoffs with a lot of caps space. Relying on Sonny Milano as your 1LW isn't really a great idea because as much as I like the guy, he isn't a top liner and was HEAVILY carried by Zegras. Kerfoot in that spot would be very nice.

Extensions

- Campbell: Despite the reports saying otherwise, I think in the end the Leafs will cave and sign Campbell. We arent in a position where we can or should take stupid risks. We know what Campbell brings. If we want to compete, our goaltending shouldnt be a question mark. We need to be confident. We've played in front of Campbell for a few seasons now and hes looked good when injured and godlike when healthy. If he does leave, I think Husso is an option, but a team like EDM will end up stupidly overpaying him. The only trade target I like that could play starter is Blackwood. Maybe Stolarz as a tandem option with Blackwood. I fully trust Dubas, but we are in a very tight spot if Campbell leaves.

- Engvall: Boy did Engvall have a good season. More involved physically, put up some respectable numbers, his shot has really developed into something scary, and he is fast. 1.9 seems about right for him in my opinion.

- Liljegren / Sandin: I have Sandman and Lili signing identical contracts. I used Dermott's 1.5 x 2 as a base, but Liljegren and Sandin have been more impactful than Dermott was, thus the pay raise. Reports also confirm that we may look at a 2 year deal around 2 mi. That lines up with the expiration of Muzzin's contract. It gives them time to prove that they can be reliable top 4 defenseman (although I would argue they already are), and worth a substantial pay raise. If not, then theres about 3.6 mil more to put towards Matthews' extension.

AHL Graduates

- Robertson: Probably the most likely AHL graduate. He's proved time and time again that he is an absolute horse. Long term injury? No problem, Robertson will battle through and return like nothing ever happened. So fast, so skilled, so great. He looked really good with Tavares and Nylander. He's got an NHL caliber shot, and the speed to keep up with Willy. He's not given enough respect anymore. He's still only 20 years old, but with the way Leafs fans talk about him you would think he's 32 with 0 NHL experience. Super good player.

- Steeves: Alex Steeves is one of my favourite players to follow. Ever since his lone game in Traverse City last year before promptly exiting with injury, he's been on my radar. Scored at a very respectable pace in the AHL in his rookie season and is spoken of very highly by Dubas. I love him and he actually looked decent up with the Leafs in a very limited role where he played with Clifford and Spezza who didnt exactly exude offense last season.

- Anderson: Joey Anderson has GOT to be given a chance. He's been nothing short of great since joining Toronto and plays exactly the type of game you want. Hes a great penalty killer, decently physical, and scores a lot. Also has quite a bit of NHL experience from his days in New Jersey. I really like him and if he looks good, I would even consider slotting him in as 3RW.

- Honorable Mentions: Let me list them off here before I get into more detail: Bobby McMann, Josh Ho-Sang, Brett Seney, Joe Blandisi, Curtis Douglas. McMann scored at a very good pace, breaking Josh Leivo's record for most goals in a season as a Marlie. He's also a pretty big dude at 6'1 203lbs. He didnt make the cut because I think Steeves has more upside and more time to develop at 22 compared to 26. Josh Ho-Sang was extremely close to getting an NHL deal back in December when the Leafs dealt with COVID. He went to the Olympics but sort of slowed down after that. The reason I didnt sign him was because he wouldnt fit in the Leafs bottom 6, and the top 6 is crowded. He wouldn't suit a checking line like the third, and the fourth line just isnt enough ice time. Its a shame because he has all the right tools and Im rooting for him, but man its a tough situation. Seney is another guy who had a good AHL season and has some NHL experience. I will never forget that stunning preseason goal he scored against the Habs. I could see him as a good fit for 4C, but I think the Leafs are going to go down the route of a vet 4C to mentor two young wingers. Speaking of guys I would like as 4C, here is Joe Blandisi. He's another guy who had a good AHL season with some NHL experience. I didnt include him for the same reasons I didnt include Seney. Also, if it were between him and Seney, I would probably go with Seney.

Other Notes

- Im not too sure they force Sandin onto the right side. I think Muzzin should be the guy put on the right side between the two, but theyve already tried Sandin on the right so they will probably try again
- I dont think they plunk Robertson into the top 6 immediately. If not, I would put Athanasiou as 2LW, Anderson as 3RW, and Robertson as 4LW/RW.
- I would love to bring Mikheyev back but hes probably priced himself out. Lyubushkin was worse than Holl so he's not coming back. Blackwell doesn't strike me as someone that would want to come back, but he would be a perfect 4C. I loved him with the Leafs
- I would consider giving Muzzin time to evaluate his future given the fact he suffered two head injuries in a fairly short amount of time. If he's sat for a few games for his own health, I would roll Sandin - Myers.
- I think Kallgren can and should be our backup. McKay and Woll / Callavin should have the responsibilities to mind the AHL net. McKay has the highest upside so he should be the starter there.
- Mrazek buyout isnt too bad. Id rather trade him but I also dont want to give up assets.
- Take Pickering / Salomonsson at 25OA, Logan Morrison at 79OA, at 107OA Chernikov (via ANA), Klavdiyev at 115OA (via DAL), and Marcus Nguyen at 218OA
Free Agent Signings
RFAYEARSCAP HIT
Engvall, Pierre2$1,900,000
Sandin, Rasmus2$1,870,000
Liljegren, Timothy2$1,870,000
UFAYEARSCAP HIT
Cogliano, Andrew1$900,000
Athanasiou, Andreas2$3,000,000
Campbell, Jack3$4,500,000
CREATEDYEARSCAP HIT
Myers, Phillipe1$900,000
Trades
1.
TOR
  1. Myers, Philippe
NSH
  1. Duszak, Joseph [RFA Rights]
2.
TOR
  1. 2023 5th round pick (DAL)
DAL
  1. Holl, Justin
3.
TOR
  1. 2023 3rd round pick (ANA)
  2. 2022 4th round pick (ANA)
ANA
  1. Kerfoot, Alexander
  2. 2024 5th round pick (TOR)
Buyouts
  • Petr Mrázek: $1,033,333
  • Philippe Myers: -$616,666
DRAFT YEARROUND 1ROUND 2ROUND 3ROUND 4ROUND 5ROUND 6ROUND 7
2022
Logo of the TOR
Logo of the WPG
Logo of the ANA
Logo of the TOR
2023
Logo of the TOR
Logo of the TOR
Logo of the ANA
Logo of the TOR
Logo of the TOR
Logo of the DAL
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
ROSTER SIZESALARY CAPCAP HITOVERAGES TooltipBONUSESCAP SPACE
22$82,500,000$81,343,117$212,500$0$1,156,883
Left WingCenterRight Wing
Logo of the TOR
Bunting, Michael
$950,000
LW
UFA - 1
Logo of the TOR
Matthews, Auston
$11,640,250
C
UFA - 2
Logo of the TOR
Marner, Mitchell
$10,903,000
RW
UFA - 3
Logo of the TOR
Robertson, Nicholas
$796,667
LW
RFA - 2
Logo of the TOR
Tavares, John
$11,000,000
C
NMC
UFA - 3
Logo of the TOR
Nylander, William
$6,962,366
RW, LW
UFA - 2
Logo of the TOR
Engvall, Pierre
$1,900,000
LW, C
UFA - 1
Logo of the TOR
Kämpf, David
$1,500,000
C
UFA - 1
Athanasiou, Andreas
$3,000,000
LW, RW
UFA - 1
Cogliano, Andrew
$900,000
LW
UFA - 1
Logo of the TOR
Steeves, Alex
$834,167
C
RFA - 2
Logo of the TOR
Anderson, Joey
$750,000
RW
RFA - 1
Left DefenseRight DefenseGoaltender
Logo of the TOR
Rielly, Morgan
$7,500,000
LD
NMC
UFA - 8
Logo of the TOR
Brodie, TJ
$5,000,000
LD/RD
NTC
UFA - 2
Logo of the TOR
Campbell, Jack
$4,500,000
G
NTC
UFA - 5
Logo of the TOR
Giordano, Mark
$800,000
LD
UFA - 2
Logo of the TOR
Liljegren, Timothy
$1,870,000
RD
RFA - 2
Logo of the TOR
Källgren, Erik
$750,000
G
RFA - 1
Logo of the TOR
Sandin, Rasmus
$1,870,000
LD
RFA
Logo of the TOR
Muzzin, Jake
$5,625,000
LD
NTC
UFA - 2
ScratchesInjured Reserve (IR)Long Term IR (LTIR)
Logo of the TOR
Simmonds, Wayne
$900,000
RW, LW
NTC
UFA - 1
Logo of the TOR
Clifford, Kyle
$762,500
LW
UFA - 2

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Jun. 20 at 10:16 p.m.
#1
First NY Then LA
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Kerfoot is an excellent Swiss-Army-knife kind of player, the type of up-and-down-the-lineup player whom every serious Stanley Cup contender needs. Unfortunately, Anaheim won't be that kind of team for at least two seasons, so the Ducks are the wrong team for a semi-expensive rental player like Kerfoot.
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Jun. 20 at 10:20 p.m.
#2
Formerly Jamiepo
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Great read. Agree with nearly everything. Somehow Petruzzelli got left out of the conversation. I think moving kerfoot for athanisiou isn't a great trade off. If leafs are doing something similar it should be for a centre that can cover 2c for injuries. Something that I have missed in my agm's as well.

Also Muzzin had his chance on the right side and that did not go well... to put it nicely.

One last thing to add... Varlamov may also be an interesting trade target.
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Jun. 20 at 10:24 p.m.
#3
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RIP Ben Stelter
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Quoting: GenXHockey
Great read. Agree with nearly everything. Somehow Petruzzelli got left out of the conversation. I think moving kerfoot for athanisiou isn't a great trade off. If leafs are doing something similar it should be for a centre that can cover 2c for injuries. Something that I have missed in my agm's as well.

Also Muzzin had his chance on the right side and that did not go well... to put it nicely.


He shouldve been on that list*
Jun. 20 at 10:24 p.m.
#4
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Pretty sure you can't sign a player you just bought out. Teams would abuse that loophole constantly to circumvent the cap, if that was allowed.
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Jun. 20 at 10:25 p.m.
#5
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RIP Ben Stelter
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Quoting: gmgb
Pretty sure you can't sign a player you just bought out. Teams would abuse that loophole constantly to circumvent the cap, if that was allowed.


I shouldve clarified he would probably be signed to an AHL deal in this scenario
Jun. 20 at 10:28 p.m.
#6
Formerly Jamiepo
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Quoting: LeafsDude
I shouldve clarified he would probably be signed to an AHL deal in this scenario


I believe that preds will buy him out and leafs will sign him. Everyone seems to be awestruck by the -616k cap hit this year and oblivious to the 634k cap hit next season. Which the leafs can not afford. Certainly not something worth trading for.
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Jun. 20 at 10:28 p.m.
#7
No Patty Kane trades
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This is great man. A very detailed prediction of this offseason and I agree to an extent with a lot of it. I don't really love AA at that price though. I don't know why he just doesn't seem like the right guy to go after.

As for the veteran 4c, I really, really want Bozak. He's a former leaf, he has a Stanley cup, he's a Saskatchewan boy, I'm assuming he's probably a good leader, just seems a lot like another Spezza, except he already has a cup. Though Cogliano would be nice too, especially since he'll likely have a cup by that time too.
Jun. 20 at 10:32 p.m.
#8
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If they don't move Muzzin or Sandin, then they will probably go with Sandin on the right side at times, and when the 7th D-man is playing they might scratch Muzzin and have him Sandin on the left.

If Muzzin is to good to be scratched, then I would expect a Sandin trade if he doesn't get a good feel for playing on the right.
Jun. 20 at 10:35 p.m.
#9
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Quoting: GMBL
If they don't move Muzzin or Sandin, then they will probably go with Sandin on the right side at times, and when the 7th D-man is playing they might scratch Muzzin and have him Sandin on the left.

If Muzzin is to good to be scratched, then I would expect a Sandin trade if he doesn't get a good feel for playing on the right.


Trading Sandin would be a giant mistake. I would only consider it for an impact roster player and if we get a guy like Pickering at 25OA
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Jun. 20 at 10:37 p.m.
#10
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Quoting: LeafsDude
Trading Sandin would be a giant mistake. I would only consider it for an impact roster player and if we get a guy like Pickering at 25OA


Agreed. I don't think they do trade him unless it is for a RD, and hopefully for someone with similar upside and team control.
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Jun. 20 at 10:48 p.m.
#11
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If Athanasiou costs 3M (which I doubt he will) there's like no chance we go for him. I think you could make Mikheyev work for that money
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