Is The Ship Pointed In The Right Direction?

After years of trying to spend their way out of trouble have the Toronto Maple Leafs finally figured it out?

The Toronto Maple Leafs had a season they would like to forget but for many Leafs fans help might be on the way.

The question I ask myself is, are they finally going in the right direction?  I guess you could say they can’t get any worse but I think they are on the right track.

I like the fact they hired Brendan Shanahan as President of the club.  What a difference from the Brian Burke era.  When I watch Shanahan being interviewed he is so relaxed and comfortable with the media.  He’s a natural in my books.  I like that he hired a young executive in Kyle Dubas.  He is an analytics kind of guy and a valued member of the team.  Dubas will learn a lot working with Mark Hunter. The Hunter family has had years of experience in building a powerhouse junior hockey team in London, Ontario and Mark was a good choice by Shanahan to be a part of the rebuild.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs might have spent too much money signing Mike Babcock as the new coach but when you are in a hockey fishbowl like Toronto you swing for the fences.  Babcock will bring a whole new culture to the team.  It was probably why Phil Kessel was traded.  On the surface he’s not quite a Babcock kind of player in my opinion.

While watching the NHL entry draft I observed Mark Hunter and he had the look of an “acting General Manager”.  Kyle Dubas is his under study and you could see him working the floor talking trades with the various GM’s.  I understand they wanted to stock pile draft picks but I was quite surprised when they traded their 24th pick to Philadelphia when they could have had Travis Konecny.  Mark Hunter likes skilled players and Konecny is as skilled as they come!

I like the fact that have made some small steps in trying to give Babcock a competitive team to work with.  Trading Brad Ross and a fourth round pick in 2016 to Edmonton for defenceman, Martin Marincin was a good move.  Signing players like Mark Arcobello to a one year 1.1 million dollar contract, P.A. Parenteau to a one year 1.5 million dollar deal, Matt Hunwick for two years at 1.2 million a year, and Shawn Matthias for one year at 2.3 million makes a lot of sense in case these players do not fit in to Mike Babcock’s overall plan.  They will be evaluated on a short-term basis and will give their prospects time to develop. More moves for the Toronto Maple Leafs are likely to come as the off-season progresses.

Do I think the rebuilding Toronto Maple Leafs will make the playoffs this season? No I don’t but I like the way the organization is headed compared to what we have seen under the Brian Burke and Dave Nonis regimes.  It will take time for the Toronto Maple Leafs but I believe finally the ship is pointed in the right direction.

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Comments

  1. Todd Leroux says

    Hmmm, the Leafs.

    I still have nightmares of growing up with Saturday night meaning my parents bridge club, an early dinner of fried Klik, and watching Harold Ballard’s Leafs on channel 6. Uggh.

    Ship in the right direction? Well, at least it’s safe to say ‘in a different direction’.

    The Leafs and Canadian teams in general all seem to be named Titanic – no Cup in 20+ years, collectively.

    • George Bain says

      I can totally relate Todd. I felt the pain of Harold Ballard too! On a more serious note I really like Shanahan and the pieces he has put in place. I agree different direction. I would like to see them challenge for the Cup again sometime, but not before the Jets!

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