NHL.com has been providing in-depth inventory, prospect and fantasy analysis to its 31 teams since November 16-December. 16. Today, Toronto Maple Leafs.
Toronto Maple Leafs are gritting the influx of veterans and pushing their talented core on the post-season hump.
Forward Joe Thornton And Wayne Simmonds, And Defensemen Zach Bogosian And TJ Brady Each of the last four post seasons has been included in the off-season for the team that was eliminated in its first series. Toronto lost 3-0 to Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 5 of the Best-of-5 Stanley Cup Qualifiers last season.
“We have to stop waiting,” said general manager Kyle Dubas. “We look forward to our potential and we need to go out and start exercising and make it happen and force other teams to respond to us.
“I think part of it is maturity, I think part of it is experience. But those two things go into the mentality and I think that’s what the mentality of the group is.”
Thornton has as much experience as they come. He is ninth in NHL history in games (1,636) and 14th in scoring with 1,509 points (420 goals, 1,089 assists), but the 41-year-old has not won the Stanley Cup in 22 seasons. He said he thinks he has a shot at Maple Leafs who have not surpassed the first round in the Stanley Cup playoffs since 2004.
“I really believe in Toronto, with the list they have with the guys who chose this off-season, I think this team is ready to win now, I’m ready to win,” Thornton agreed on a one – year deal on October 16. 16. “I have to win.”
Symonds of Toronto signed a one-year contract on October 9. The 32-year-old said his physical style (1,125 penalty minutes in 909 NHL games) required him to complete talented forwards. Aston Matthews, Michelle Morner, John Tavares And William Nylander.
“The skill on this team is unbelievable, I think I can be a piece,” Simmonds said. “I’m not going to end it all and bring this team to the Stanley Cup, because it’s a team thing, not [something] A person can do it alone. But I can definitely be a part of the puzzle where my physicality and the way I play the game helps to elevate other guys, make space and help bring out the courage of the whole team. “
Maple Leafs hopes that Simmonds, who scored 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) and 66 penalty minutes for the Buffalo Sabers and New Jersey Devils last season, will add intensity and sharpness.
“When we talk about stubbornness with our group, the way we define it is very simple,” Dubas said. “If it’s a 50-50 puck, do you really want to win that puck every time? And do you want to be the first person on the puck? Are you ready to go to the hardest places with snow? Are you going without the puck and succeeding? Ready? “
On October 9, Brady signed a four-year deal to settle the Toronto Defenseman exit. Tyson Barry (Signed with Edmonton Oilers). The 30-year-old scored 19 points (four goals, 15 assists) in 64 games for the Calgary Flames last season and four points (one goal, three assists) in 10 post-season games.
“Playing against [Toronto last season]“They are fast, skilled,” Brady said. “I’m very good at anything and want to collaborate and improve them.”
Bogosian, who scored seven points (one goal, six assists) in 27 games for Tampa Bay Lightning and the Sabers last season, signed a one-year deal on 10 October. Adds depth on defense with 30-year-old Maple Leaf looking to use a range of 11 forwards and seven defenders, Stanley Cup champion Lightning often did last season.
“Our team has more levels to reach,” coach Sheldon Keefe said. “We’m not happy with how things ended up in our series against Columbus. But we have made some changes. New people are coming to us, and I’m really happy to work.”