Auston Matthews and William Nylander
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Insider's latest update on the Leafs may upset the already volatile fanbase

Published February 26, 2024 at 10:13

The discussion of what the Toronto Maple Leafs will do at this year's trade deadline has really been a hot topic over the past month. At first, it looked like the Leafs were just going to stand pat and not spend assets on rentals and that they might not want to spend assets at all with how inconsistent the team had been all season.

More recently, the conversation has shifted to the fact that the team is playing perhaps better than it ever has and that Treliving should sell the farm and just go for it to avoid wasting another prime year of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander.

Currently in the midst of a 7-game win streak, the prevailing thought right now is that the Leafs should simply load up and go for it. However, one insider believes that the Leafs may be watching their supporting pieces begin to heat up and thinking that they might not need to add anything of note to challenge for a Stanley Cup.

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman told listeners on his 32 Thoughts podcast on Monday that, while everyone is talking about the Leafs adding on March 8th, he could also see them just rolling the dice with what they have and avoiding moving on from some of their young assets.

"All of a sudden for Toronto, a lot of their guys who are UFAs are getting hot. McMann, Domi, Bertuzzi with the hat trick the other night... I'm curious to see, does Toronto just let this all play out [without a move]?

Remember a couple of months ago, people were saying, 'you know what? Toronto's guys, all these 1 year guys didn't work out.' All of a sudden, they're starting to look a lot better. It's going to be interesting to see what Toronto does here in terms of roster construction. They might just be best off to let it all play out."

I know it's not the sexiest answer out there, but with how well the team is playing now, they're showing everyone that they are indeed contenders in their current form. Avs head coach Jared Bednar sang the Leafs' praises over the weekend after a hard-fought 4-3 regulation win over the Avalanche, stating that the Leafs don't get enough credit for how good they are defensively. This is a Stanley Cup winning coach we're talking about. He knows a thing or two about winning, and for him to be putting the Leafs up on a pedestal like that following a loss on home ice, perhaps we should be paying attention to that.

The fact is that the Leafs are going to succeed or fail based on the work of their top guys. If the Core 4 and Morgan Rielly show up, and if they get solid goaltending and defend as a team, the sky truly is the limit. I can see what Friedman is saying here. Maybe they don't need anyone at all to be a true contender.
February 26   |   596 answers
Insider's latest update on the Leafs may upset the already volatile fanbase

Can the Leafs win a Stanley Cup without adding a single piece at the deadline?

Yes19632.9 %
No40067.1 %
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