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How the Toronto Maple Leafs Can Salvage Their Summer of Inactivity

TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 11:  P.K. Subban #76 of the Montreal Canadiens scuffles with Phil Kessek #81 of the Toronto Maple Leafs in a game on February 11, 2012 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. The Canadiens defeated the Leafs 5-0. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Claus Andersen/Getty Images
Nicholas GossCorrespondent IJune 24, 2016

This summer hasn't gone how Toronto Maple Leafs fans would have predicted. There team has not gotten much better after last season, and there's little reason to believe the current roster is capable of making a playoff push next year.

With that said, let's look at a few options Leafs general manager Brian Burke should consider to make his team better for the upcoming season if he isn't satisfied with his roster.

 

Sign a Veteran With Stanley Cup Experience

Young forward James van Riemsdyk is the only player on the Leafs' roster with Stanley Cup Final experience, so signing or trading for a player with championship experience would be a great way to bolster the team's roster for the upcoming season.

Let's look at three veteran free agents with championship experience who the Leafs should consider making an offer to.

Player Notable Experience
Jason Arnott 1 Stanley Cup title, 73 points in 122 playoff games
Petr Sykora 3 Stanley Cup titles, 74 points in 133 playoff games
Brian Rolston 1 Stanley Cup title, 34 points in 77 playoff games

These three players won't be significant contributions, but their experience and offensive talent would give the Leafs some added depth.

 

Extend an Offer Sheet to P.K. Subban

If the Leafs want to make a massive roster move, signing a restricted free agent to an offer sheet could accomplish that.

P.K. Subban is just 23 years old, but he has already established himself as one of the league's best offensive defensemen. He also has 21 games of playoff experience with the Montreal Canadiens.

Subban joining the rival Leafs is unlikely to happen, but there are a few good reasons to at least try. If Toronto successfully signs him, the team's blue line in a year or two could consist of Jake Gardiner, Morgan Rielly and Subban. That's a pretty impressive defensive corps.

If the Leafs try but don't sign him, at least they would hurt the Canadiens' salary cap situation by forcing them to match the offer sheet and overpay.

 

Make a Blockbuster Trade

Star center Ryan Getzlaf has one year left on his current contract, and if it looks like he's not going to re-sign with the Anaheim Ducks, then Burke should pursue him via trade.

Even though Getzlaf is a top-line forward, his offensive production has been a little low over the past three seasons for a player of his caliber.

After scoring 91 points in the 2008-09 season, he has scored 69, 76, and 57 points in the three years since. He can't use the "no talent around me" excuse either, since Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan are usually his linemates.

This lack of production, in addition to his upcoming free-agent status, might prevent the Ducks from getting the most value for Getzlaf if they do decide to trade him.

If Burke wants to make a major trade, Getzlaf makes the most sense for the Leafs.

 

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