Toronto Maple Leafs Free Agency Recap With David Alter - The Homestand Show

July 4, 2023

In the latest Leafs talk, there has been a lot of discussion about the team and the impact of general manager Brad Treliving. He has been making moves and putting his stamp on the team, including adding some new faces to the roster. One notable moment was his post-scrum interview, which reminded some of the Brian Burke press conference from years ago. While it brings back memories, there is excitement about the changes Treliving is making. One word that stands out is "snot," and it adds a unique touch to the conversation.

Joining the discussion is David Alter from Sports IlIustrated and The Hockey News, who was present during the scrum. Surprisingly, it turns out that Alter was once a contestant on the show "Video and Arcade Top 10." He shared the story of how he participated in the show after leaving a voicemail and eventually winning the game. Alter's participation in the show brought a sense of nostalgia, reminiscing about the past when renting games was common.

Moving on to the non-gaming topics, the focus shifts to the recent days of free agency and the acquisitions made by Brad Treliving. One notable difference compared to previous signings under Kyle Dubas is that the roles of the new players are clearly defined. Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi, for example, have specific roles as top-six wingers. This clarity in roles is a significant change from the past, where there was uncertainty surrounding some signings. However, there are still concerns about the defense.

The conversation then turns to the signing of Ryan Reaves, a 36-year-old fourth-line winger. While some may view the three-year contract as excessive, from a mathematical perspective, it is a low-risk move. If Reaves becomes ineligible or not good enough to play at age 39, the cap hit can be minimized. Reaves brings a different dynamic to the team, injecting energy and humour into the room. The Leafs' bench has been criticized for being quiet, and Reaves can help change that by being more vocal and creating a more active atmosphere.

The discussion also touches on the ongoing contract negotiations with William Nylander. While Nylander's asking price of $10 million per year may seem high, it is justified considering his talent and potential role on another team. The Leafs face the challenge of finding a compromise that works for both parties. A $9 million salary might be a reasonable middle ground, but it depends on the Leafs' overall cap situation and the resolution of Auston Matthews' contract situation.

If the Leafs decide to move on from Nylander, there would likely be interest from other teams. However, the trade market for Nylander depends on the Leafs' expectations and whether an extension can be immediately worked out. The Leafs would want pieces that provide immediate help or address other areas of need. The ability to negotiate an extension right away would maximize Nylander's trade value.

To become salary cap compliant and potentially improve the roster, the Leafs have some decisions to make. One option is to move Matt Murray, which has been a priority. Another possibility is exploring the trade market, including the availability of John Gibson. Brad Treliving is known for his curiosity and willingness to inquire about every possible option. Whether it involves a buyout or a trade, it is unlikely that Matt Murray will be part of the Leafs' training camp.

The Leafs still have several moves to make, and Brad Treliving has a lot on his plate. The decisions he makes will shape the team's future. The conversation with David Alter provides insight into the team's dynamics and the challenges they face. And as the offseason progresses, fans eagerly await further developments and hope for a stronger Leafs team in the upcoming season.