Patience pays off as Leafs receive best game of the season from veteran defenseman

Cody Craig
March 10, 2024  (12:50)

Toronto Maple Leafs veteran defenseman T.J. Brodie
Photo credit: Canadian Press

It hasn't been the best season for one veteran blueliner by any stretch of the imagination, but on Saturday night in Montreal, T.J. Brodie really stepped up and played his best game of the season, and at the right time to boot.

The Maple Leafs, who have recently dropped two games against the Boston Bruins this past week, had a true taste of what the playoffs will entail this season. They need their best players to step up down the home stretch before the playoffs start and last night we saw Brodie do just that.
After many fans had suggested that the Leafs move Brodie at the trade deadline to free up his $5M to upgrade on the blueline, once the deadline had passed with Brodie remaining a Leaf, there were some who suggested that he should have been the one to sit last night instead of Simon Benoit. Well, not only were the Leafs right to play him, but Brodie went out and put up arguably his best game of the season last night.
Last night, Brodie ranked as the best Leaf for individual offense and individual defense as well as offense above average and defense above average. Last night, he played at an all time high, confidence-wise, making quick first passes and even carrying the puck with ease when the play allowed it. He also had the secondary assist on the Max Domi game winning goal to add fuel to the fire that he may be heating up at just the right time for the Leafs. Brodie also had the most time on ice of any Maple Leaf at 22:04 and the best plus/minus differential with a +3.
If this is the Brodie that shows up for the rest of the season and the playoffs, Toronto is in for a treat as they will have vintage Brodie on the back end with an overall solid and upgraded defensive corps. There's no question that Brodie looks better on the left side of the ice and with the Leafs having brought in Ilya Lyubushkin ahead of the deadline to shore up the right side, there's no reason to have Brodie shift back over to his off-hand for the remainder of the year.
The veteran blueliner will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Will the Leafs try to retain him or allow him to walk on July 1st and sign somewhere else? Let us know in the poll below.
10 MARS   |   516 ANSWERS
Patience pays off as Leafs receive best game of the season from veteran defenseman

Will the Leafs re-sign T.J. Brodie or let him walk on July 1st?

They'll bring him back7414.3 %
They'll let him walk34867.4 %
Too soon to say for sure9418.2 %
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