The post Potential Shake-Up Looming for Maple Leafs’ Core appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, yet again, are the talk of the hockey world with the team being on the brink of elimination. The postseason hasn’t been friendly towards the Leafs as the team only has one series win throughout the last 10 seasons. In recent years, the Leafs have also experienced heartbreaking losses such as their prominent 3-1 series blow versus the Montreal Canadiens in 2021.

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A major talking point surrounding the Leafs has been their “core four” consisting of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and John Tavares. It’s simply inexcusable for a team with this much forward talent to lose the way they’ve been losing in the postseason. They’re also getting paid huge money as all four players get paid more than $10 million each.

William Nylander Toronto Maple Leafs NHL

It’s the same cycle every season. The Leafs are expected to finally make it over the hump to go on a deep playoff run, only to come short and anger the fanbase even more. The Leafs now find themselves down 3-1 in a series against the Boston Bruins, a team that has had their number in the postseason. The cycle is repeating itself once again and according to one insider, big changes may be on the way if the Leafs don’t smarten up.

Maple Leafs’ Core in for Changes if Team Doesn’t Rebound

During the most recent 32 Thoughts: The Podcast episode, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman addressed a point many hockey fans wonder about. He suggests that if the Leafs do not come back from this 3-1 series deficit, the core four’s days in Toronto likely will come to an end. A major shake-up will likely occur as a result of the years of disappointment where players simply didn’t step up when it mattered.

Friedman states:

“This is the end for this group if they don’t pull of the big comeback here. You always bet on talent and assume they’re gonna figure it out, I don’t think you can do that here anymore. You can only give so many votes of confidence to the same group”.

Putting it bluntly, this is the last chance these players have to prove that they can win together. It’s not unlikely the Leafs force a Game 7, but the odds aren’t in their favor. It’s clear that both the team and their fans have potentially reached their breaking point and the patience is no longer there.

Both Marner and Tavares have one more year on their deals. These are the two likely candidates for being moved by Toronto as both Matthews and Nylander have signed major extensions with the club. With Marner only being 26, he’s the more attractive asset to move compared to Tavares, who’s getting up there in age. There is no reason why the Leafs should continue to have confidence in their current core as virtually no playoff success has been seen. While a shake-up isn’t fully guaranteed, it’s certainly a strong possibly for where the Leafs are at this point.

Mitch Marner and John Tavares futures in Toronto are unclearOther Changes are Likely as Well

While changes towards the core four are major, the Leafs may also chose to make changes in management and coaching personnel. Head Coach Sheldon Keefe and Team President Brendan Shanahan are possibly in for losing their jobs on top of a core four shake-up

It’s safe to say that the “Shanaplan” has been an utter failure and with Shanahan deciding to stick with the core four last offseason, his time as president may be up as a result of his loyalty towards an unsuccessful group. Under Shanahan, Toronto has been an environment where accountability has been minimal and playoff success has been non-existent. It may be time for this franchise to have a new voice up top where every decision is a big one.

Keefe on the other hand has also been at the center of criticism throughout the years. Keefe has been the coach throughout multiple Leafs blunders in the playoffs. While he may not be entirely at fault, it’s hard to think that major changes wouldn’t include a new voice behind the bench.

The Leafs are in for a huge offseason. Whether it’s a member of the core four being traded or a change in staff, GM Brad Treliving is in for some huge decisions.

Next: Seattle Kraken Have Fired Head Coach David Hakstol

The post Potential Shake-Up Looming for Maple Leafs’ Core appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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