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Toronto Maple Leafs: big changes to come this summer
Credit: Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Even though the Leafs lost in seven games rather than the five many thought they would after the first four games of the series, it’s still a huge disappointment and frustration on the Toronto side.

I know it was a very close series, in which the Maple Leafs showed a lot of character by coming from behind and winning two big games (the 5ᵉ and the 6ᵉ), but that simply doesn’t change the final result.

Even if the Maple Leafs were just one short goal away from advancing to the second round while breaking their curse against the Boston Bruins, there’s a good chance we’ll see some big changes to the team starting this summer.


Because this circus has gone on long enough.

Leafs management simply can’t continue to sit back and think that this team will one day overcome its demons and finally make it to the playoffs.

At some point, enough is enough, and action must be taken.

Many thought this would be the start of a major overhaul after the Leafs lost in the first round to the Montreal Canadiens in 2021, but in the end, nothing was done.

And now, seriously, it’s too much for the Leafs to remain confident with their Big-4– their four talented forwards with very expensive contracts.

Many drops have already broken the camel’s back, and now the water is flowing on the floor, not just on the table, leading us to believe that changes are likely to come for the Leafs.

The big problem, however, as stated by Pierre LeBrun, is the non-movement clauses of all Big-4 players.

Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and John Tavares all have such clauses in their respective contracts.

So that means making a big splash this summer and overhauling the team with big changes won’t be as easy as that for Leafs general manager Brad Treliving.

He’ll have to find a way to concoct something with the agreement of the player or players he wants to trade.

The most likely to be traded are clearly Marner and Tavares, whose contracts expire at the end of next season.

With only one year left on their contracts, they become more attractive to other teams, who could negotiate a contract extension.

But then again, there’s a lot of money attached to these players, and not every team is willing to add such a contract to their roster, especially not for guys who are notorious for not performing in the playoffs.

In short, the solution for the Leafs right now would be to find a dance partner or partners and add top-notch players with more heart and a better work ethic, as well as better defensive players.

It’s going to be a summer to watch in Toronto.

There could be many changes, starting with the most logical – the dismissal of Sheldon Keefe, who blames his team shamelessly.

Patience with Keefe has clearly worn thin, and it’s time for a change of pace at this level.

It’s really the players on the ice who should be on the lookout for big changes, even if captain John Tavares still believes this group is capable of doing damage in the playoffs.

Tavares isn’t the only one who still believes in the Leafs.

William Nylander, who scored the Leafs’ only goal in Game 7, but also made a poor defensive withdrawal on the Bruins’ winning goal, still doesn’t believe there’s anything wrong with the Leafs’ core.

Matthews’ and Marner’s career final game stats say otherwise, however.

While big changes could be complicated to execute, I still say this was probably the Leafs’ last game as we know it.

One of the big four forwards will be gone next season, in my opinion.

In a gust

– Read more.

– Nice scene in the Bruins locker room.

– Is there really a club that will want to sign him and give him another chance?

– The Panthers have had it rough this season against the Bruins.

– Read more.

– Another tough loss for Montreal CF last night, this time 4-1 to Nashville SC.

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