Sports The beginning of the end begins for the Toronto Maple Leafs

The beginning of the end begins for the Toronto Maple Leafs

In the latest exhibition where the hockey gods come with a sense of humor, The toronto maple leaves Now tied for the longest streak of reaching the playoffs in the league. Thank you Washington CapitalsB.Ittsburgh PenguinsAND nashville predators Heading to the baddie shack this season, he leaves and boston bruins He joined for seven consecutive years. But ask any Leaf fan if that streak means anything more than a stone of shame.

These Toronto Maple Leafs, at least the greatest collection of forward stars in the league, are not He won the playoff series. They keep getting there, they keep falling at the first hurdle. There’s no more Sisyphean team in sports right now than Buds All Day. No team has promised so much and delivered so little. The difference between them and Sisyphus is that he had to roll the same rock up the hill. The leaf consignment grows heavier each April.

This time around, not only are the Leafs saddled with the weight of their past failures and the frustration of a bordering on cult fanbase after a very short April in November, but they’re also saddled with the idea that this could be everything for this team. Even if they break the barrier that has defined them for nearly a decade — a fourth playoff win — things will never be the same again. Regardless of what happens in the next week or two, the Leafs will go through a reserve plane.

Looking to the future

Brass hits first. Auston Matthews will enter free agency after next season. He could sign an extension this summer, and the good thing for the Leafs and Matthews is that they basically already know the number. That’s $16.7 million, with next year’s maximum salary of $83.5 million. Is that why Mathews will attack? Maybe not, but that will shape any negotiation. Connor McDavid currently makes $12.55, which is tied with Artemi Panarin for the highest salary in the league. When McDavid signed him, he was 15 percent of the salary cap that year. 15 percent of next season will be $13.1 million. So there is your limit. Matthews will earn around $1.5 million per season.

That is if Matthews wants to sign an extension now. Or he could wait until 2024, when the salary cap will go up by a few million dollars, raising the maximum salary. A player like Mathieu hasn’t hit free agency since teammate John Tavares, and it could turn into one of the biggest bidding wars. northDK History must realize its need. It would be even more interesting if it was his hometown. Arizona Coyotes get their new arena And suddenly they are charged with the responsibility of filling it like never before.

Other than Matthews’ question, the Leafs already have a ton booked for next season. Only 14 players are signed for next year, and currently only $7 million is available to fill those gaps. They can take Justin Hole, Jake Mussin and Matt Murray off the list and fill some of those holes with kids, but not all. No matter what happens in these four to seven games with Tampa, the Leafs won’t be the same next year.

Of course, this should be another dance dressed in blue, discussed at length Big business can happen. William Nylander and Mitch Marner have seen their names on every team in the league as Leafs fans begin post-mortems, and it will intensify if things don’t pan out as expected this spring. Nylander hits free agency at the same time as Matthews. Marner the following summer. Even with a growing cap in one year, is there room for three? Will an aging Tavares suddenly suffer a fall overboard? He has already been moved to the wing on occasion to make room for Ryan O’Reilly. Is he worth $11 million as an aging winger? If Matthews plays hardball on an extension, will those phone lines open up?

another first round The loss sees general manager Kyle DuPont and coach Sheldon Keefe kicked in the mud, despite producing 100.The specific seasons follow. How will the new regime see this list? Will Matthews feel good about staying in the middle of the turmoil? Here are some of the balls the Leafs have to juggle.

Focus on what you want

This time there is much more on the spiritual level for the Leafs. another first round Loss makes it easier to do almost anything. Instead of being a big victim of hockey weirdness and rudeness for no reason, the Leafs would hide by saying there’s something rotten within this group.

But whether they want to put lightning on their swords, if they really do, is another matter. Now what is the crutch? Losing to the Bruins in the second round won’t be a relief, but the Bs are the greatest regular-season team of all time., at least in terms of wins and points, and if we ignore the improved ranking system compared to what came before. Let’s say the Leafs take the Bruins to a tough six or seven games and then Boston wins the Cup. How far apart are the leaves? Just half a step. What does the future hold for the Bruins? Patrice Bergeron might not be there, and David might not be there either. Crazy One. And the removal of both Bs will not replace them with high-cap relief. Next year will not be the same. Lightning is the negative of its cycle. No one comes out fast enough to overtake the Leafs in the Atlantic. If the leaves are too close together, they may not start again or get larger.

But with Matthews’ free agency looming, running him again somehow will be fraught with pressure and expectations. If it has become the first round, it is called ShWithout mentioning TO, then a trophy or bust campaign will resemble something on the cutting room floor from Alice Through the Looking Glass. If Leafs players and fans thought they had it tough before…

The leaves don’t come out of the bottom of a window, or they shouldn’t. Neither team was on top in the first round. aftermath, and it’s hard to imagine what was done in the past. When it is ready, the leaves will look different. Wanting a simple playoff series to win four to seven games may seem too simple. Or maybe it looks like the Black Death. The leaves are not always the same.

To follow Sam’s descent into the madness of having to listen to John Busycross call playoff games, follow him on Twitter. @felsgate.



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