February 21, 2024

Maple Leafs begin new era with Treliving as GM, Bertuzzi, Domi at forward

After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, NHL.com is examining where each team stands in preparation for the 2023-24 regular season, which starts Oct. 10. Today, the Toronto Maple Leafs:

 

2022-23 season: 50-21-11, second in Atlantic Division; lost in Eastern Conference Second Round

 

Key arrivals

Brad Treliving, GM: Hired to replace Kyle Dubas on May 31, he spent the past nine seasons in the same role with the Calgary Flames, who were 362-265-73 under his direction. … Tyler Bertuzzi, F: The 28-year-old signed a one-year contract July 2 and is expected to bring some much-needed sandpaper to the top-six forward group. He had 30 points (eight goals, 22 assists) in 50 regular-season games with the Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins last season, and 10 points (five goals, five assists) in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games with Boston. … Max Domi, F: The 28-year-old is the son of Tie Domi, who played for the Maple Leafs from 1995-2006. He signed a one-year contract July 3 after having 56 points (20 goals, 36 assists) in 80 regular-season games with the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars Iast season, and 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 19 playoff games for Dallas. … John Klingberg, D: Signed a one-year contract July 1 and is expected to quarterback the power play alongside Morgan Rielly. The puck-moving defenseman had 33 points (10 goals, 23 assists) in 67 regular-season games with the Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild last season, and four points (one goal, three assists) in four playoff games for Minnesota. Klingberg turns 31 on Aug. 14. … Ryan Reaves, F: The 36-year-old signed a three-year contract July 1 and is expected to supply grit to the bottom six. He had 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 73 regular-season games with the Wild and New York Rangers last season. He was held without a point in six playoff games for Minnesota.

Video: The guys on the Leafs signings of Bertuzzi and Domi

 

Key departures

Kyle Dubas, GM: Hired as president of hockey operations for the Pittsburgh Penguins on June 1 after his contract with the Maple Leafs expired … Ryan O’Reilly, F: Signed a four-year contract with the Nashville Predators on July 1 after he had 30 points (16 goals, 14 assists) in 53 regular-season games with the Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues last season, and nine points (three goals, six assists) in 11 playoff games for Toronto. … Michael Bunting, F: Signed a three-year contract with the Carolina Hurricanes on July 1 after he had 49 points (23 goals, 26 assists) in 82 regular-season games and two points (one goal, one assist) in seven playoff games. … Alexander Kerfoot, F: Signed a two-year contract with the Arizona Coyotes on July 1. He had 32 points (10 goals, 22 assists) in 82 regular-season games and two goals in 11 playoff games … Justin Holl, D: Signed a three-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings on July 1 after he had 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) in 80 regular-season games and one assist in eight playoff games … Noel Acciari, F: Signed a three-year contract with the Penguins on July 1 after he had 23 points (14 goals, nine assists) in 77 regular-season games with the Maple Leafs and Blues and two goals in 11 playoff games. … Luke Schenn, D: Signed a three-year contract with the Penguins on July 1. He had 22 points (four goals, 18 assists) in 70 regular-season games with the Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks, and one assist in 11 playoff games. … Spencer Carbury, assistant coach: Hired as head coach of the Washington Capitals on May 30.

 

On the cusp

Matthew Knies, F: Selected by Toronto in the second round (No. 57) in the 2021 NHL Draft, the 20-year-old signed with the Maple Leafs after his college season ended with the University of Minnesota. He had one assist in three regular-season games and four points (one goal, three assists) in four playoff games for Toronto. Knies will compete for a top-six role this season. … Joseph Woll, G: Could emerge as the backup after he was 6-1-0 with a 2.16 goals-against average and .932 save percentage in seven regular-season games and 1-2 with a 2.43 GAA and .915 save percentage in four playoff games (two starts) last season. The 25-year-old was selected by Toronto in the third round (No. 62) of the 2016 NHL Draft. … Nicholas Robertson, F: A variety of injuries has limited the 21-year-old to just 31 NHL games (three goals, four assists) since being selected in the second round (No. 53) in the 2019 NHL Draft. He had five points (two goals, three assists) in 15 regular-season games and one goal in four playoff games last season.

 

What they still need

Treliving would like to revamp the defense, and rightly so; the Maple Leafs allowed 222 goals last season, tied for fifth-fewest in the NHL, but showed an inability to control the Florida Panthers’ cycle in the defensive zone in the playoffs. Klingberg will help the power play but is hardly the muscle Toronto wanted to add on the back end. And are Woll and Ilya Samsonov the answers in goal for a deep playoff run?

Video: NHL Tonight talks on Ilya Samsonov’s one-year deal

 

They said it

“We need a little bit more snot to our game, and I think [Bertuzzi and Domi] both bring a little more of that. As much as the game’s changed, some things have never changed. At the most important times, the rink shrinks.” — general manager Brad Treliving

 

Fantasy focus

Bertuzzi gains prime fantasy appeal joining the Maple Leafs’ strong offense, especially if he lands a role in their top six. His production will benefit from exposure to either Auston Matthews or John Tavares, in addition to seeing some time on the power play. Bertuzzi was a standout in the playoffs with the Bruins last season; he had 10 points (five goals, five assists), including six on the power play, in seven games and was nearly a point-per-game player (NHL career-high 62 in 68 games) for the Detroit Red Wings in 2021-22. — Anna Dua

 

Projected lineup

Tyler Bertuzzi — Auston Matthews — Mitchell Marner

Max Domi — John Tavares — William Nylander

Matthew Knies — David KampfCalle Jarnkrok

Sam LaffertyDylan Gambrell — Ryan Reaves

Morgan Rielly — TJ Brodie

Jake McCabe — John Klingberg

Mark GiordanoTimothy Liljegren

Ilya Samsonov

Joseph Woll

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