Like all major sports, the NHL is more of a business than anything else. The reason the players are on their respective teams is because of the owners and the GM’s who decide a player's worth and how much they are willing to spend on these players. It is very rare anymore to see a player want to or get the chance to play for his favorite childhood team. It is rare that a player shows his loyalty to a franchise and sticks with them throughout his whole career. It really is all about money when it comes to these sports.
But what if money didn’t matter and general managers could just pick any player to fill their roster needs. Would the Maple Leafs under this scenario be able to get into the postseason? Would they have been able to have won at least one Stanley Cup after 1967?
I wrote an article here picking the top five free agents the Leafs should go after this summer, but that was taking the money issue into consideration. If the Leafs could spend anything they wanted, there are definitely more than a few free agents on the market this summer that would help the Maple Leafs reach the playoffs next spring.
Here are those free agents that could step in and help the Leafs.