Will the Toronto Maple Leafs Be on the Hunt for Connor McDavid in 2015 by Jamie Gilcig

jbowerCFN – Are the Leafs going all in for the hunt for Connor McDavid?


The 17 year old is expected to be the top choice at next year’s NHL draft.   This off season the Leafs have been near quiet with no big signings or  big trades.

They drafted legacy youngun William Nylander with the 8th pick in the first round.    At 5’9 the lithe winger certainly isnt’ about getting bigger and better.  His numbers for Modo, 7 points in 22 matches also don’t elicit much excitement.   Rinat Valiev is a Russian player who tasted North American Hockey with Kootenay of the WHL.  He’s listed at 6’1 205 pounds at the age of 19.

Most of the buzz about the Leafs was about who they were trading; captain Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Nazem Kadri, Cody Franson, James Reimer…there weren’t too many Leafs that weren’t in some sort of  hockey buzz of some sort or another?

End result as of July 14th is that the Leaf team of last year is pretty much intact.   Yes, they swapped out Carl Gunnarsson for Roman Polak.  Yes they resigned Leo Komorov, but then it might be asked if he should have ever been allowed to leave?

Head Coach Randy Carlyle is still there, but two of his coaches were replaced; usually not a positive sign and of course Dave Nonis is still GM and frankly he’s never proven himself to be an elite GM at any level.  Great support team guy; but he’s no….Brian Burke.

Toronto seems to be a team without a vision right now.   Looking at their roster it looks like a work in progress that was never finished.

It now leaves the team in an odd position.   You need a real trading GM to pull off magic.  Most of the core players are signed up for a few years and many have some sort of trade clause like the one that kept Josh Gorges from joining the squad.

One of the most interesting rumors is of Steve Stamkos coming home and becoming a Leaf when he goes Free Agent in two seasons.    That’s not as crazy a rumor as exists in the NHL.   At the very least it gives Steve Yzerman more incentive to lock up his franchise player long time and I’m sure the Leafs if given the opportunity would do whatever it would take to get their home town hero.

One of the things they could do is make sure a strong team is waiting for him.  While the Leafs aren’t there quite yet, a poor showing and a chance at the franchise player of the future surely wouldn’t hurt?

Tyler Bozak to this writer would be a strong #3 centre as opposed to being a number 1.   Nazem Kadri isn’t a bad player; finishing 3rd in scoring last year with 50 points in 78 games, but for some strange reason he seems to get a rough ride from fans.

He’s not the biggest or toughest player, but at 23 his future isn’t looking dim right now.  The Leafs are strong on Wing with or without Joffrey Lupul who is also a big trade talk guy right now.  Kessel, and Clarkson, who will rebound, are on the right side and JVR and Komorov are on the left along with Lupul if he sticks.

The Leafs have some interesting young D men.  I like Cody Franson.  I think there is an upside to Jake Gardiner, and Reilly Morgan had a good first season considering that he’s been rushed to the NHL and probably could have used a season with the Marlies.

Jonathan Bernier is a good goalie.  He’s proven that.  I’m not sure he’s a great goalie especially if Toronto have to pay him over $5M after next season.    James Reimer is an enigma that may or may not be a Leaf come season opener.

Essentially the recipe for a team collapse and chase for Connor McDavid is there.  It’s not a high percentage play; but the lower the Leafs tumble the better the chances or less it’d take to trade for his rights.

That being said the team could pull off three stunning trades and make a run for Lord Stanley’s Cup!  You just never know in the NHL no matter how smart you are.

What do you think Leaf Nation?  Are you happy with the team’s non moves this off season?  Will they be better than last year?

You can post your comments below.

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  1. They absolutely will be, they were 3rd in the east for about 65 games, they were missing pieces in the 3rd & 4th lines, they had no 4th actually. First & second lines were great, except Clarkson but that should change. More time in opposition end means less shots on your net, Raymond got 19 goals but couldn’t get the puck out, Komarov will and chase it in the other end, they need players who play tough. Some pieces on the D have changed, not sure it will amount to too much. The D were not actually the main problem, it was that the forwards never helped them out.

  2. Nylander’s 5’11” and it’s Carl Gunnarsson not Karl Gunnerson. I hope they do fall to get McDavid.

  3. Can’t spell the name of a defenceman who has played for them for yrs…their young potential star. Bozak is a 3rd liner. Nylander was rated top European prospect and best player at world juniors and his dad filled out to about 6’190lbs. mmm the size of McDavid. Do sports writers still take 3 martini lunches? But yes we might end up getting McDavid. Not a bad thing.

  4. You are a complete IDIOT , William Nylander was playing against MEN. In the under 18 tourny he was OUTSTANDING. Nobody is “un-excited” , if anything shanahan is THRILLED! Btw its Morgan Rielly. Honestly , was this written by a guy who just read a stat sheet then wrote a blog about it? Bozak had almost as many points as Kopitar , is kopitar a 3rd line center? Your right bozak on any other team would be a second line center. But him and kessel have chemistry and chemistry is sometimes better than natural talent without chemistry. Nylander WILL get bigger and WILL get better. People keep missing the fact that Bolland was injured alot , same with bernier , and with kessel , JVR and kulimun all at the olympics, we did see kessel get his slumps. Not to mention how brutal clarksons slump was. Now , they got rid of bolland (he never did anything anyways , always injured) and raymond. Raymond was a GREAT player and the leafs will defently miss him. Kulumin? Maybe defencivly but not going to miss him too much. Now , the leafs are going to be better than last year IF everybody or at least most stay healthy. Clarkson will defently score more than 6 goals , kessel and the SOCHI boys wont be tired from the olympics , Bernier will be the starter no more floping between Bernier and Reimer. Rielly will only get better. Komarov DRAWS penaltys witch means more powerplays for us. He also finishes his checks. Frattin had good chemistry with many leafs including kadri and komerov. We also picked up santoralli and konitola witch konitola will add something to the fourth line. Santoralli will bring mason raymonds speed to the group again. The leafs traded gunnarson for polak. Gunnarson was good but not the right player for us. Polak is a good stay at home defenceman who takes the body and blocks the shots. Kinda what we wanted gleason to do but never was able to do. And Robida will help the teams core defenceman to play better and not be one of ther WORST defencive teams in the league.

  5. Author

    Liam betcha the Leafs sport a worse record upcoming season than last…unless they make some major changes which is not a Dave Nonis play…

  6. despite what Shanahan Staois Nonis says all the leafs have is a team of 4th liners at best. when they finish last this year,they will somehow mess up the first pick and select another swede instead of mcdavid. some draft eh two swedes, two americans and one russian. grapes will be proud of the leafs. all they are doing is forming team europe. they might contend in 2067 100 years after .

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