NHL Free Agent Rumors: 5 Reasons the Maple Leafs Need To Sign Drew Doughty

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NHL Free Agent Rumors:  5 Reasons the Maple Leafs Need To Sign Drew Doughty
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

This offseason is one of the most important ones in recent memory for The Toronto Maple Leafs and Brian Burke is well aware of this fact.

"Burkie" has assembled the second-youngest team in the NHL, and for the first time in many years, the organization has a cache of very good prospects (not great but very good) as well as some talented young players on the roster and in the AHL. They will also have an estimated $15 million in cap space after signing James Reimer, Clarke Macarthur, Luke Schenn and Carl Gunnarson and will need to round out the roster with four players once those signings are completed (assuming they are that is).

That being said, the Leafs are one of only two teams in the NHL who have failed to make the playoffs post-lockout (Florida being the other) and thus, taking a huge leap forward in 2011-2012 is crucial not only for Burke's job security but for the sanity of the fans and the reputation of this once proud franchise.

And that brings us to Drew Doughty, a 22-year-old future Norris Trophy winner who would look fabulous playing for his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs (well close enough, he's from London, Ontario). Oh, and he just happens to be a restricted free agent who could potentially be had for the right price, assuming the offering team is willing to pony up some serious dough and some draft picks. The following slides are five reasons why I feel the Leafs need to sign Drew Doughty to an offer sheet that the Kings can't match.

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