Where Do The Toronto Maple Leafs Stand After Free Agency?
As Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brad Treliving said, there was a time when GMs were basically done with free agency when the shopping window opened, the big names were signed, and everyone headed to the cottage.
The salary cap hasn’t gone up that much over the past few seasons – it’s at $83.5 million for the upcoming season – and that has forced players to take shorter-term deals and general managers to get more creative in how they shape their rosters in an effort to win the Stanley Cup.
Locker Room Gets Energy Infusion
The Leafs got off to a slow start on Day 1 of free agency, and the requisite freaking out in Toronto soon followed. Ryan O’Reilly, Noel Acciari, Luke Schenn, Michael Bunting, Alexander Kerfoot all walked away as free agents.
Bruising F Ryan Reaves was signed early to give the roster some physical edge and the dressing room some energy. The Leafs have evolved more into a roster of mini corporations more than hockey players. One journalist wrote a telling piece on how quiet and meek the room and practices tend to be. Reaves will turn that on its ear.
Then the team brought in D John Klingberg on a one-year $4.15 million contract. Klingberg is 30 years old and had some big offensive years back when he played for Dallas (including 67 points, and a plus 10, in 82 games, in 2017-’18), but he didn’t have a great season with the lowly Anaheim Ducks in 2022-’23. With his big point shot he’s a candidate to man the Leafs power play if he can turn his game around in Toronto.
Day 2 of free agency hit on a Sunday, and everything changed with the signing of RW Tyler Bertuzzi, one of the big names out there at the start of free agency, followed up with the signing of LW Max Domi, both big-time additions to the forward core.
Bertuzzi with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner would instantly be one of the top lines in the league.
Maple Leafs Betting Odds
With that came a tightening of Stanley Cup futures betting. BetMGM has the Colorado Avalanche at 9.00, followed with the Edmonton Oilers at 10.50 and the Leafs at 12.00. The sportsbook has the Leafs at 6.50 to win the Eastern Conference.
For those interested in other options, Bet365, the Leafs are at 10.00 to win it all, just after the Avalanche, who are at 9.50. PointsBet Canada has the Leafs at 11.00, tied with the New Jersey Devils and the Oilers, all three sitting behind the Avalanche at 9.00.
The big question now in Toronto is goaltending. Last year’s No. 1 G Ilya Samsonov is headed for arbitration. Treliving somehow will have to find a way to jettison G Matt Murray and his $4.6 million salary. It will cost prospects or draft picks to convince another team to take on the injury-prone Murray as he heads into the last year of his contract.
The Leafs are $3 million plus over the cap when factoring in LTIR players like Jake Muzzin.
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