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Free agent day 1: Leafs come out clear losers
As I summarized and explained earlier this morning, yesterday was truly the first day of the free-agent market.

There was a tremendous amount of signings and action, and it’s not likely to slow down today, considering the many names still available on the market.

So, with the first day of free agents now behind us, we can already analyze the work done by each of the National Hockey League teams.

This allows us to take stock of which teams came out on top, which teams treaded water, and which teams came out on the losing end of the day.

Among the losing teams, of course, are the Montreal Canadiens’ rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Toronto’s fans (who are frustrated and disappointed by the turn of events) and analysts alike are clear: the team is not as good as it was before the market opened.

It’s been a very difficult day for the Leafs, and the team’s new general manager, Brad Treliving, is already being roundly criticized.

Why is he being criticized?

Well, for one thing, the Leafs yesterday lost the services of several key players who have done them proud in recent years (even if they haven’t always been perfect).

They include Ryan O’Reilly ( Nashville Predators ), Alex Kerfoot(Arizona Coyotes), Michael Bunting(Carolina Hurricanes), Luke Schenn(Nashville Predators), Justin Holl(Carolina Hurricanes) and Noel Acciari(Pittsburgh Penguins).

The Leafs lost four forwards and two defensemen in a single day.

They’re not the biggest names, but they’re all players who were very useful (though not perfect) to the Leafs in terms of depth.

But in the end, departures can be filled and players can be replaced, right?

Well, here’s the big problem: Brad Treliving only signed one forward and one defenseman on the first day of free agency.

Their names?

Ryan Reaves (for THREE YEARS), who doesn’t even count as a replacement for one of the departed players in my book, and John Klingberg, a defenseman who’s a real handful defensively.

So the Leafs lost a combination of players who scored a total of 79 goals in 2022-2023, and replaced them with a combination of two players who scored a total of 15 goals in 2022-2023.

Ouch, Ouch, And re-ouch.

It’s easy to understand why Toronto fans are so frustrated.

One might think that Brad Treliving hasn’t finished his work, but at the same time, with about $6M available under the salary cap, things won’t be easy.

But why?

Because the team’s number-one goaltender, Ilya Samsonov, is still unsigned, and also because contract extensions need to be signed with Auston Matthews and William Nylander for the 2024-2025 season.

The Leafs are by far the worse team than last season at the moment, and it will be difficult for them to turn things around between now and the start of the season.

So, right now, here’s the Maple Leafs’ attack.

(Credit: )

Yes, I know, aside from the Big-4, it’s very, very ordinary.

Defensively, it’s a little better, but it’s far from perfect.

In short, things aren’t going very well in Toronto right now, and they could get even worse if Treliving doesn’t manage to sign Auston Matthews and William Nylander to contract extensions.

Stay tuned.

In a gust

– Good signing for the Detroit Red Wings.

– Summary of Steve Yzerman’s work.

– Read ahead to the Wimbledon tournament.

– Review and analysis of yesterday’s action.

– Read more.

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