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Reporter reveals unexpected new D pairs for the Leafs with veteran UFA additions


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Nick Matthews
July 9, 2024  (7:02 PM)
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Oliver Ekman-Larsson
Photo credit: TSN

Maple Leafs reporter James Mirtle has revealed some likely new D pairings after Brad Treliving mended the Leafs' D corps with veteran UFA acquisitions.

Treliving has had a decently busy off-season as he has tried to address the Leafs' weak defence corps through free agency.
NHL reporter James Mirtle mentioned on The Leaf Report podcast this week who he think's the Leafs will pair together on their new and improved blueline for the 2024-25 season.
According to Mirtle, the Leafs could be looking at a setup like this, barring any changes before opening night, and assuming that Jani Hakanpaa is not ready to go:
Rielly/Tanev
Ekman-Larsson/McCabe
Benoit/Liljegren

I was a little surprised to not see the Benoit/McCabe pair stick together after a successful run last season. Similarly, I thought the pair or Swedes, OEL and Liljegren may have matched up nicely.
Chris Tanev may actually be the best D partner Morgan Rielly has ever played with, if the two are indeed paired together. Ekman-Larsson's offensive flair might mesh well with Jake McCabe's two-way awareness.
The Benoit/Liljegren pairing has potential, but the jury is still very much out on whether Liljegren will be better or worse under Berube. I have fewer concerns about Benoit, who plays a defensively responsible game and adds a ton of physicality that Liljegren lacks.
It wouldn't shock me in the least to see Liljegren and Hakanpaa rotating in and out for one another at various points throughout the season.
Source: DailyFaceoff
Toronto Line Combinations
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9 JUILLET   |   558 ANSWERS
Reporter reveals unexpected new D pairs for the Leafs with veteran UFA additions

Which pairing do you like together the most of the abovementioned options?

Rielly/Tanev34361.5 %
Ekman-Larsson/McCabe16229 %
Benoit/Liljegren213.8 %
Other (Benoit/Hakanpaa)325.7 %
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