NHL Rumor Mill – October 31, 2022
Would a coaching change or trade help the Leafs? What’s the latest on the Sharks following last week’s report claiming management is willing to entertain offers for most of their players? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO IMPROVE THE LEAFS?
SPORTSNET: Luke Fox wonders if a big trade or a coaching change can reverse the fortunes of the struggling Toronto Maple Leafs. They are 4-4-2 in October, including losses to rebuilding or struggling clubs like the Montreal Canadiens, Arizona Coyotes, San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks.
Head coach Sheldon Keefe seems to be running out of options to motivate his players. Fox blamed general manager Kyle Dubas for not providing Keefe with a better supporting cast for his core talent. He believes the Leafs as currently constructed should reach the playoffs but won’t scare anybody when they get there.
Fox also noted the Leafs lack “gritty, hard role players”. He pointed out they used to have such players in Nazem Kadri, Zach Hyman, Connor Brown, Ilya Lyubushkin and Mason Marchment but all were cut loose “due to economics or an inability to fit the vision.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some, including Leafs like Mitch Marner, pointed out they got off to a worse start last season and ended up with a franchise-record 115 points. That’s as may be but, as The Athletic’s James Mirtle pointed out, there are more Leafs performing poorly compared to the same time last season.
If the Leafs don’t turn it around in November there could be some changes coming. The most immediate could be replacing Keefe as head coach since they lack the cap space and available assets to make a significant trade that will reverse their fortunes. I agree with Fox that Dubas failed to provide the necessary assets to maintain a balanced roster. However, at this point, it seems like they might benefit from someone else behind the bench.
I’m not sure if adding gritty, hard role players is the answer. The Leafs still failed to win a playoff round with Kadri, Hyman, Brown, Lyubushkin and Marchment, though the latter barely saw enough playing time to make a difference during his short tenure in Toronto. Finding reliable goaltending and defensive depth might be better options.
LATEST ON THE SHARKS
THE ATHLETIC: Corey Masisak recently reported the San Jose Sharks players are shrugging off a report on Thursday by TSN’s Pierre LeBrun claiming GM Mike Grier is willing to entertain offers for almost everyone on the roster except perhaps for Tomas Hertl.
Masisak pointed out LeBrun didn’t say Grier intends to trade certain players. He also cited Sharks coach David Quinn saying every general manager around the league is probably talking to each other to gauge where they are at this point in the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Masisak doubts the trade speculation will go away despite the struggling Sharks’ recent wins. He also pointed out he’s got three veterans in Logan Couture, Erik Karlsson and Marc-Edouard Vlasic carrying hefty contracts with no-movement clauses.
It may be a little early for Grier to start shopping players. He could be willing to listen to offers but it doesn’t mean he’s about to tear it all down and start a complete rebuild.
Nevertheless, Grier will likely become a seller if the Sharks are well out of playoff contention when the calendar flips to 2023. He will likely start shopping pending UFAs like James Reimer and Nick Bonino and perhaps test the trade market on pending RFA winger Timo Meier.
Fire Keefe and bring back Babs. Isn’t he still under contract? 😉
Can Trotz be coaxed into taking on this poorly defensive team? 😗
Sacrifice Marner for a #1 D. Karlsson, McDonagh, Seth Jones (in a few weeks), Weegar or Anderson (only requires Nylander then) Douty, etc…..
I spoke too soon as per the last posting
I made my opinion on Mitch Marner loud and clear , as being a disturbance to this team
Undisciplined play and attitude
11 million reasons why this player has to go ..
As per Keefe , I mentioned awhile ago , he has lost his team !!
As did Ron Wilson in the past .
Dubas time has come , we all know that !
He has done a very poor job in his tenure as GM .
The question is who is the replacement coach and GM
Dubas don’t terminate Keefe ,,they are “buddies!” Going back to the Sault grey hound says ???
Toronto is in trouble , they may miss the playoffs
Too many many vastly improved teams in that conference !
I’ll go with If it ain’t broke don’t fix it for now, for the b’s or as SOP usually says “Til the @r$e has gone out ‘ er.” But I still think they need to add some toughness . Foligno right now would have a hard to time trying to fight his way out Seniors Knitting convention. He should still have three goals at about this time two months from now. Leafs need a goal tender I’m beginning to think The leafs coach will be the first to go followed by the gm and eventually Shanny.
Matthews has now tied Foligno in goals with 3 snipes
We trade one for one eh Rwm?? To nsje thr $$ work will include. Smith. And reilly too
I have been posting here for the better part of 13 years now…..I really try and be fair in my approach and stay consistent in my appraisal….about the Leafs not only a week ago I posted that this team was way to soft on the wings …and ALWAYS have been ..
first off Keefe and Dubas has to go …it has to be a clean sweeping exit for both and bring in a new ERA and mind set at this point this is the form of insanity when you do the same thing yer in and year out for the better part of 5 to 6 years in how you buit the team every year!
2 weeks ago I posted ALL the mistakes that Dubas has made via trade or unwiling to sign players and make it work…i.e… giving up draft picks in trades for no reason
…like a 1st with Marleau and a 3rd with Kadri…
2 players and a first for Muzzin…….and only 800K apart with Freddie anderson for Mrazek
…JUST HORRIBLE DECISIONS ….and so forth
If you read my posts when they signed Nylander I was very adimit about them upgrading to a player with size and skill instead…my hash tag TRADE NYLANDER I posted here every day !!
while he has put up good numbers he just does not fill the need that is required to win in this league …if you are not scoring and you do nothing else …
While he is a quality player he is also your best trade chip ..
After Dubas and Keef are gone….Leafs NEED
NUMBER THING LEAFS NEED IS:
Size on the wings on the top 3 lines ..LIKE BIG checkers that wear down teams ..make teams think twice about making plays and cause turnovers….and can score and are young.
Need to use Nylander and Sandin to get #1 Done upgrade in size on wings and on back end !!!
Jarnkrook is NOT a 3rd line player or checker he is a FINISHER and need to be on the top line or at very least 2nd line to add goal production he is USELESS as a checking player who has no size …
HE IS A FINISHER …and will score with high quality players !!!
Regardless of his play this year you have to move out Tavaraes contract at seasons end this year some how some way !!
THEY NEED THE MONEY !!!
Someone needs to tell Dubas this is NOT the Swedish elite league …..and Shanahan should be embarrassed that he has allowed this team to be built like a European team…..getting rid of Kadri was the worst deal this administration ever made and is the tell tale decision of what the mind set is
Kessel Bozak kadri Gunnarson and so forth have all won cups only a few years removed from being cast off…and ALL PLAYED A HUGE roll on th teams to win those cups so how were they no good to be apart of the puzzle as a part of the Leafs ….in the past …it goes deeper to the construct of the team as a whole to surround those players to allow them to be the best they can be …and not being placed in a position to fail by being MISCAST in the system !
In closing …Dubas and Keefe need to go TODAY…then ASAP…you need to move out Nylander and Sandin in UPGRADES IN SIZE and skill…on the wings and in the top 4 on D …
Also why is GIO and Brodie NOT PLAYING with each other …W T F is this …these 2 guys need to be put back together and see how it goes to get something going to protect leads
Even if the Leafs were scoring 6 goals a game they would loose 7 – 6 …because they are not wearing down teams or making it hard for the opposition to make plays …plain and simple …no body worries about playing the Leafs !!
Biggest pond hockey game in the NHL
GET SIZE UP ON THE WINGS ON ALL LINES !!!!
This is a fan who appears to want to win more than the team he supports.
Losing stinks, but the Leafs will come around.
I think the Leafs come around as well SOP.
Teams go through tough stretches all the time, this is the start of the year so it sticks out more.
They are 4-4-2, not 1-7-2.
They are barely out of a playoff spot and folks are getting fired up and want to tear it down. The Oil had a tough stretch middle of last season, turned it around. They hadn’t won a playoff series in years, until they did.
If they don’t win a playoff round, all the Dubas haters will get their wish. If this stretch continues to 25-30 games, Keefe will be gone. Maybe it will work.
IMO if he had traded Marner or Willie, he would lose that trade in this environment and to suggest he hasn’t tried or has turned down a trade that gave them a top D man or a scoring winger with size and grit, and save them $ is naive.
A rebuilding team like Arizona isn’t trading for an $11M winger unless they win that trade out right. It would make the Hall for Larsson trade look like a steal for EDM. Nylander is the only guy you have a hope of trading for a reasonable return, and even then rival GM’s are offering anvils not a life savers. The market will open up a bit when the cap goes up as more teams will have the space to make a deal. Might be too late for Dubas.
IMO opinion, the best thing that could happen to the Leafs is for their fans and local media to chill the flip out.
The Pens are very similar to the Leafs in their lack of size on the wings. They brought in Petry and Ruuta to get bigger on D but that has slowed them down even more. They will both pad their points and stats against the lower teams but they are not built for playoff hockey. The past several years they have both made deadline deals that were supposed to lead them to the Cup never fully realizing that their core issues could not be overcome with the addition of one or two guys.
@ Sjpp … Petry is frustratingly streaky but he played some sublime playoff hockey for Montreal. Yes, he is one year older but I think you may come to value his play more over time.
Ray, sound advice as always but this year just seems different somehow. The early injury to Matt Murray was an ominous sign but that didn’t need to be crucial. It’s the mediocre effort that’s really hard to watch. I don’t know how to motivate these guys and, it seems, neither does Sheldon Keefe.
Time will tell.
If it continues BCLeaf Fan, the pressure will keep mounting.
The players and Keefe already seem stressed out and it is 10 games in. Not the best remedy for success IMO. In fact the opposite of how you need to play, thinking too much and trying not to make mistakes, which causes more mistakes.
That’s what I meant by the best thing that could happen to them is for everybody to chill.
No chance of that, but threw it out there.
I agree with most of your thoughts but I’d rather see Marner go instead of Willy , 4 million extra dollars and maybe Marner might lose some of his cockyness lol
Janrock is no finisher. Highest goals was 16 back in 17/18. 3rd liner. Who can add a few here and there. Leafs have the talent too right the ship but lets hope they don’t 😂
Don’t worry they won’t anytime soon. They are not showing any improvement over this time at all which when considering their opposition during this time is even more concerning.
The Leafs are a grand lesson on when you rely on your key contributors and they don’t show up, this is the team you have.
Kal I told you I never seen anything that proves your point of janrook being a finisher anytime in his career and asked you to show me the proof I missed and like that point being off, unfortunately so are many of your “solutions”. So many can’t happen and other simply won’t. You’re entitled to your opinions and post your observations but because we think it, don’t make it fact.
blozak did nothing—it was all kessel–blozak ruined kessel—
if the coach and dumas can’t see that holl, kerfoot and engvall do nothing then they need to go
o and where is shanahan—mr grit and scoring–lol
probably at the keg lol
Zero chance of moving Tavares. And it’s not about the player. I’d say the same for Panarin as a Ranger fan.
NMC, and the salary make it near impossible for these type of players.
Marner lacks the NT, or NMC. But that cap hit would be extremely hard to move and come close to winning the trade.
The leafs could never complete their “rebuild” because Scooby over-spent on the top 4. You can’t spend half your cap on 4 guys and still ice a deep NHL lineup.
You can dissect the roster deficiencies, but if you’ve made a mess of your cap, and you refuse to trade any of those 4 to balance out the lineup, the only question is:
HOW DOES KYLE DUBAS STILL HAVE AN NHL JOB????
The problem with the leafs are as you say paying 40 m for 3 players. I don’t know why fans keep harping on trading Nylander, for me he is the only one of the top four with a sensible contract wt 7.5 I believe. The only two grossly over rated and over paid are turncoat Tavares and Marner…pull a Minny and get rid of them along with the coach, manager and president and get things going and I am not a leaf fan but I know they are still raking in the money as is Montreal
I agree with what you say, except it’s Matthews, Nylander, Marner & Tavares who combine to make take 40.5M in leaf Cap Space.
I wouldn’t have a guy like Nylander on my team because he is notorious for doing fly-bys to avoid physical contact. He is the epitome of soft. Marner too…he can’t get far enough away from the physicality.
Marner’s ridiculous contract for a guy with 464 points in 437 career games is an embarrassment to the leaf management team who currently have 3 of the 7 highest paid players on their roster. Wow.
HOW DOES DUBAS STILL HAVE AN NHL JOB????
Covid has had a part to play in the Leafs’ situation but, assuming the team doesn’t get back on track soon, changes will be inevitable.
Dubas would need to eat crow if he fired Keefe, his choice all along, and Shanahan would need to think long and hard about allowing Dubas to be the guy making that decision.
I can’t see Barry Trotz becoming the next Leaf coach after declining the job with his hometown team. Plenty of other candidates but it’s a tough place to coach.
Interesting times ahead for us Leaf fans. Really hard to watch this team right now though.
Covid and Cap Management impacted every NHL team.
The cap was never going to increase enough to paper over the fact the leafs have 3 of the 7 highest paid players in the NHL.
How can U actually say , “the Leafs will come around.”
Dubas – method to his madness
Albert Einstein – term of insanity ! A person who Continually goes on to make the same mistakes on and on again !!!
Patch work to his bottom 2 lines
Ong will people stop with the wrong definition of insanity. That quote from Einstein is often used out of context and is not the definition of insanity.
His point is simply if you keep doing all the same things and expect a result that your experiment has been showing you a certain consistent result, youre only fooling yourself if somehow this one time you’ll achieve the results you think you should get.
Actually, that quote is unknown and didn’t exist until Einstein was long , well non existent.
It must be bad in Toronto when LeafsNets biggest Leaf ballwasher writes truth and facts instead of his usual completely biased drivel.
If Luke Fox of all people can see the mess Scooby Dubas has created why cant Mr Scamahan?
Hilarious to see Mitch the Snitch throw his little temper tantrum for everyone to see.
Maybe Babcock was right but nobody involved with year 9 of the 5 year Shanascam will ever admit it.
Leafs vs Flyers Wednesday at 7:00pm est. Beiber jersey tossed sceduled for 10:15.
Get back under your bridge.
Pete, “You can’t spend half your cap on 4 guys and still ice a deep NHL lineup.”
You nailed it. What other team has 3 players earning more than $10 million per season? Hockey is a team game where the goalie position is most often the difference maker, not one or two forwards. As Lou supposedly taught Kyle, a good GM builds his team from the net out. Apparently Kyle didn’t absorb that concept.
Tampa would have more than 3 if there was some parity on tax instead of a hard cap on $.
I’m reaching though, the Leafs need to be a whole lot better, I wanted that 4th goal in regulation to count so there was no silver lining of ‘at least we got a point’
There is an issue here that I can’t understand, I don’t have all the facts but management should.
I disagree. Tampa stared down Stamkos when it looked all but certain he was leaving. They held firm, and he signed.
At some point a GM has to win some contract negotiations. Dubas is a fail in every respect as a GM.
BCLeafFan, the unexpected arrival of the Coronavirus and the resulting flat cap put a severe crimp in the long-range plans of a LOT of teams and I agree, we should never lose sight of that undeniable fact. Many of Dubas’ big expenditures were made on the basis of a regularly-increasing annual cap.
But – it’s also just as undeniable that we’ve been in this stagnant period for 3 years now, with one more year to go (at least – these new quick-spreading variants may yet have a negative say in things – no point in being optimist ostriches) when the cap will rise by just $ 1 million to $83.5. And over these past 3 years nothing has been done (attempted, maybe, but we’ll never know) to alleviate the fact that, right at this moment, the Leafs spend a full 58% of their cap on 5 players (Matthews, Marner, Tavares, Rielly and Nylander).
Next season they have 10 signed with $11,231,050 to sign 13.
Their 5 RFAs – including both currently active goalies – now cost a collective $4,850,000 off the cap. If all (Robertson, Kral, Mete, Samsonov, Kallgren) are retained they alone will probably eat up well over half that. Then they have 8 UFAs to either re-sign or find suitable replacements for without all or too many being a combination of unproven ELCs/fading veterans: Kerfoot ($3,500,000), Engvall ($2,250,000), Bunting ($950,000), Aubé-Kubel ($1,000,000), Simmonds ($900,000), Aston-Reese ($840,630), Holl ($2,000,000).
Whether it remains a combination of Dubas/Shanahan or a new regime, that’s a daunting task not made any easier by the fact that 8 players have variations of M/NTC (Tavares, Kerfoot, Jamrock, Rielly, Brodie, Holl, Muzzin, Murray).
Also keep in mind how many teams are bumping against the cap, especially the bottom feeders. Look at Ottawa and once all their big tickets get punched soon. They are going to face the same issues as the Leafs soon but hopefully the won’t suffer the same fate as the Leafs, Lightning or Hawks which all had to let good players go. Who’s unfortunately out now for Ottawa who has a $8m+ contract which for a 60pt player is a bit of an overpay, based on past musings? LITR is not the answer but a viable solution to this avoidable mess.
Not the way I’d like to see teams operate.
I hear ya Ron. But the difference between what you spend of your cap on your top 5 players and what you have left to spend on the rest can have a huge impact.
Comparing Toronto and Ottawa next season – as rosters now stand – the Leafs will have 42% of their cap available for 18 players – $35,070,000.
Ottawa, with their top 5 (Stutzle, Tkachuk, Chabot, Norris, DeBrincat) accounting for 49% of their cap, will have $42,585,000 to spend on 18. The difference of $7,515,000 is not insignificant.
To level the playing field the Leafs must find a way to move out one of those top 5.
Fletcher was the only GM I can remember who made any significance with the Leafs
Leafs should of win a cup under his tenure if it wasn’t for Kerry Fraser call on Gilmour …
Than again , honestly – I can honestly appreciate oh dogs reaction – putting his hands over his face !!!
Replying – I don’t know , I just don’t know !
It’s a mess ….
I would honestly like to know what master mind U bring in – have a game plan to move this franchise forward
There was a comment on here – BCLeafs fan – lots of candidates , but WHO ????
A rabbit out the hat scenario – as per Boston and their nee coach !!!
Hey Ken, Fraser or no Fraser they would not have beaten the Habs in the finals in ’93.
to Chicago for:
Murphy4.4m @50% retention =2.2M
Toronto has to move out one of their top four.
Tavares has a nmc and nobody is willing to trade for him.
Matthews isn’t going anywhere.
Nylander has a reasonable salary for a point a game (last season) forward.
The odd man out is Marner.
Concentrate on moving him.
The Toronto Soap Opera continues…
You cant spend 50% of your salary cap on 4 players and All 4 are Soft Over paid forwards players at that….❓
Then you go out and get Mr Injury Prone Goaltender Matt Murray and an other goaltender from the Caps Ilya Samsonov who could not get it done in Washingtonn who is a UFA at the end of the season
but has played ok so far…🤔
in front of the Goaltending you have your other Big Problem a Mediocre Defence🙈
in April 2023 its going to be a Clean Sweep of Managment & Coach.✔️
The New GM will come in and Trade Marnier and John Tavares, they will try to resign Mathews but he will test the UFA market then the Leafs will go into a Majior Re Build
Will that new GM be named David Copperfield?
With SO many teams smack up against the cap – several with roster issues of their own which they need to clear up – finding one team able to take on a $10 mil + contract would be hard enough, but TWO? One of whom (Tavares) isn’t about to agree to go anywhere he wants no part of, so that further limits his options.
One of their options may need to emulate Minnesota who had to withhold large chunks of several caps to clear their decks, a consequence of which is having large dead-caps with which to deal for several years.
Another option is to ride this out until the cap does go back to the pre-Covid $4 to $5 mil per increases, and continue to search around for the best bargain-basement types they can find until this blows over.
The fans probably won’t like it, but this is Toronto. Being pissed off doesn’t seem to translate into non-attendance. If it didn’t happen during the Ballard years, it won’t happen now either.
Dont count the Leafs out from Hiring or making anybody GM…its time for a change there
from David Copperfield to Don Cherry…..❗️
I remember going to the old Maple Gardens and they would be sold out..during an other 5-6 game loosing streak..
Leafs Fans wairing Brown Paper Bags on the heads and Scalper tickets were the only way to see a game back then.
it never effected attendance back then and
30++ years later they are still doing the same thing selling out and losing ….😝
and yes old Harold Ballard would be down in his Bunker just losing his mind😂
Leaf fans need to send a $$ message…?
Lets see where they are at the 30-40 game mark
if this continues this year they would Not have to worry about trading a $10-12Million dollar player because Austin Mathews will be gone as a UFA…..summer of 2024✔️
I remember Petry playing well against the Pens in the playoffs a few years back. My main concern was they totally got out skated against Edmonton and Calgary and they were bottled up in their own end for long stretches. Last year Marino and Matheson could skate their way out of trouble but with them gone, Letang is really the only one who can now.
blozak did nothing—it was all kessel–blozak ruined kessel—
if the coach and dumas can’t see that holl, kerfoot and engvall do nothing then they need to go
o and where is shanahan—mr grit and scoring–lol
probably at the keg lol
My conclusions after reading all your Leafy concerns are:
Fire Dubas, Keefe…YES! But who are their replacements??? I suggest that Paul MacLean is your interim coach and that they hire Barry Trotz to be the GM. A defense first GM would find some better D-men for them and would not be afraid to trade a Marner or a Nylander to get them. Barry has said that he wanted to try his hand in management.
The sky is falling the sky is falling,TML aren’t running away.
Mitch Marner is a problem….not.
The top 4-5 contracts are a problem, though by the end of the year they’ll outscore most if not all other teams.
Dubas is a bum but keeps making the playoffs, Dorion’s a genius but gave a huge contract to a Dman who has yet to play a full season, a huge contract to a centre who keeps needing shoulder surgery, suspect goaltending and might just miss the playoffs…again.
The Habs are flying high, playing entertaining winning hockey……but will come back down to earth.
10 games into the season is a wee bit early to dump on teams, including TML and Sens.
Too early for rose coloured glasses on teams like the Habs.
It’s up to the coach to get the max out of his players.
I said when Marner was signed for $11 million per year, when other good RFA wingers were being signed for $5-6m, that it was a kiss of death for the rosters’ window. Way way way too much for an RFA winger on a $80 million cap. Horribly managed asset.
I don’t have the answers like some. However, a winning formula is filling a roster with players that fit your team’s needs. Not getting players to fit the team salary cap.
1- Letting Campbell go for nothing and replacing him with an injury prone goalie that can’t stop a beachball for a few hundred thousand dollars less. He’s slow and by the time he drops his 6-5 body to make a save the puck is 3/4 of a second faster than his bodily movements.
2- Letting Hyman go for nothing. Instead keeping figure skaters around to try and replace his production and grit.
3- trading Kadri. Kerfoot will end up walking for nothing just like Barrie. They could have signed him for 7 mil as UFA maybe even less as hometown discount. Instead we got Calle Jarnkrok and Denis Malgin. The only damage they’d do physically is if they brake a fingernail slamming into the boards tripping on a loose stick.
4- letting Lyabushkin go for nothing. Instead they have Justin Holl and his fingernails and Sandin and Liljegren who wouldn’t be able to clear my Aunt Sally in front of the net.
Who they need:
1- Barry Trotz
2- Matt Martin
3- Cal Clutterbuck
4- Ilya Lyabushkin
5- Carson Soucy
6- Jakob Chychryn
7- Trevor Zegras
Who they need to get rid of:
1- Justin Holl
2- Pierre Engvall
3- Matt Murray
4- Denis Malgin
5- Rasmus Sandin
6- Timothy Liljegren
I see Jamie Drysdale is out the 4 to 6 months for the Ducks. They have an aging D corps, so I wonder if they may be interested in a deal for a young D-man???
The Habs have Edmundson ready to return & Matheson also on the mend I wonder if the Ducks would be interested in a deal to exchange a pair of youngsters???
Would they be interested in a Jordan Harris centerpiece for Max Comtois exchange??
Comtois could be that winger that the Habs are searching for to play with Suzuki & Caufield .
The Ducks are in a Re-build even they are not trading for an old d/man…
Even if they did beat the Maple leafs in there last game,
they will be picking Top 5 in 2023….👍
The mention on here …
Barry Trotz as GM …
I am in FAVOUR !!
Let him bring in his coach or he can temporarily handle a dual role until the end of the season
Wouldn’t be the worse idea
I know he is craving the opportunity !
Lamorella should of resigned in in the island …
Dismissing Trotz wa not the formula
Trotz will get the respect from his players
An awesome resume
Kudos to Johnny Z
I scrolled back and found your literature
Game ON !!!!