The Toronto Maple Leafs made great strides to becoming a contender late in the season, but we all know that they have more than a few needs before anyone considers them a serious Cup contender.
As we all know, the most serious need is a first line center, seconded by a offensive defenseman to replace Tomas Kaberle. We also need a player that can help improve one of the league's worst penalty kills last season.
The Leafs' website lists Mikhail Grabovski, Tyler Bozak, Tim Brent, Nazem Kadri as the centers on the Leafs roster. While Nazem Kadri can develop into a top center somewhere down the road, as of now he has been far too inconsistent in his young career to depend on him on the first line next year. He could also be moved to the wing.
Grabovski has won the second line center from his play last year. Bozak and Brent could be useful on the third and fourth line centers respectively
Since the departure of Tomas Kaberle, the Leafs have needed a suitable replacement. When you're giving Brett Lebda additional ice-time to see if he can help with offense, you know you need help. Carl Gunnarsson could very well be the replacement long-term, but along with Kadri, those days won't come for a while.
The Leafs penalty kill ranked 28th in the NHL with 77.4 percent. Fredrik Sjostrom was supposed to help the PK but has done nothing so he will most likely be let go. Bozak was also used with a man down, which could help explain his minus-29 rating.
The Leafs desperately need to find a player who will anchor our penalty kill and drastically improve it.
Here are five players that the Leafs need to target and hopefully sign.