Are We Sure Major Changes Are Coming with the Toronto Maple Leafs?

The Toronto Maple Leafs are poised to be eliminated from the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs yet again.

It was an ugly performance by the Maple Leafs in Game 4, and all eyes are focused on the offseason. For the past six years, maybe even longer, many have called for the Maple Leafs to break up the core of Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, and Morgan Rielly.

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However, year after year, as the Maple Leafs come up short in the playoffs, management led by Brendan Shanahan, has run the same team repeatedly. Now, there has been little changes here and there, but the core remains the same. Remind you the Maple Leafs won one playoff series in 2023. So, what is not working here?

Former general manager Kyle Dubas, now the team president and general manager with the Pittsburgh Penguins, hinted last offseason that he was willing to break up the core. However, we never knew what he was planning because he left Toronto to go to Pittsburgh.

New general manager Brad Treliving extended Matthews and Nylander and added the current surrounding cast. Not to mention, they signed head coach Sheldon Keefe to a contract extension.

But if this team goes out to the Boston Bruins in five games, you would think changes have to come.

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TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger joined Toronto Radio does not think the big changes we all think are coming will happen with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Though he expects the roster to be different next year.

Dreger: “You know, I am with you Carlo, we collectively, it’s so easy in sport, major sport, when things go awry or you live to disappoint me, which Leafs Nation appears to be again to sharpen the knives. All right, well, somebody is going to have to pay the price when the Maple Leafs lose to the Boston Bruins in Round One. Yeah, that’s obvious, but who is it?

We talked about a core four and you include Marner, Tavares, Matthews, Nylander. It’s not a core four. It’s a core two, because Matthews and Nylanders have extensions and Tavares and Mitch do not. Something is going to change in that core this offseason. You can take that to the bank. So let’s change before that happens. They lose in five games, six games, whatever it is.”

Carlo Colaiacovo: “Everyone is gone if they lose in Five Games.”

Dreger: “Yeah. I mean, well, I mean, again, I guess I would define everyone, everybody keeps looking at the new sheriff in town Keith Pelley, the head of Maple Leaf Sports and expecting that Keith is going to be so upset that he’s just going to take a machete to hockey operation.

So that means Brendan Shanahan goes. Brad Treliving is the new general manager. Is he going anywhere? I don’t see it. I don’t see it. Sheldon Keefe, as head coach, I can understand that. And I can guarantee you Sheldon would expect that. He’s had multiple chances as head coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs and it hasn’t worked out.

That’s fine. That’s the salty side of the business. But I don’t, I don’t get the sense that it’s going to be as dark and there’s going to be this massive bloodletting market may want that immediately expect that doesn’t mean it’s gonna happen.”

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The roster has to be different. Brad Treliving even knows it has to be different, but the question will be whether he can find the dance partners necessary to move a player like Mitch Marner out to improve his roster.

The John Tavares contract will take care of itself, but Marner is a moveable asset. Please don’t say he is not. The Tampa Bay Lightning moved players out with no-movement and no-trade clauses. A deal can be done.

But if the Toronto Maple Leafs decide to run the same core back, they should not extend Marner, but let him walk if they can’t trade him.

Expect changes with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Nobody knows what those changes are at this time.