This season, we’ve heard it all, and we’ve seen it all.
A 9-2 loss to the Nashville Predators, and a 6-1 win against the Boston Bruins. Jerseys being tossed onto the ice, and Kessel calling out the media. Carlyle getting blamed for everything, and Horachek somehow getting praise despite one of the roughest stretches in Leafs’ history.
When we continue to ask ourselves “can this get any worse?”, guess what…it does. From poor on ice play, to off-ice drama. From management decisions, to mainstream media. The past decade has been embarrassment after embarrassment. But I’m not here to talk about the past. I’m here to send a message to the ones who constantly bring it up. Everything that people complain about regarding this organization is in the past. I know it’s hard to believe, but constantly complaining about all the flaws of this organization really is just a waste of time right now. It’s time to move on.
Leafs Nation some very exciting things to look forward to in the near future. Heck, even right now.
Let’s take a minute to look on the bright side. Yes, there’s a bright side. Here’s a list of things that we should be excited about going forward:
- William Nylander: Perhaps the most skilled player in the 2014 draft. Nylander’s game has translated well since being sent to the Marlies from Europe. With the possibly of Kessel being moved in the off season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nylander (Will the thrill?) on the 23 man roster next season filling the potential void at RW.
- A top 5 and bottom half 1st round pick in the upcoming draft: This I like. A deep draft in which we hold 2 first round picks. I’d be very happy exiting the first round with a Dylan Strome and Brandon Carlo/Jeremy Roy.
- Morgan Rielly: This kid is my favorite Leaf and it’s not close. May have been a bit lost during the beginning of the season but now is found. The slick skating, puck moving D-man still has some areas to improve on but he’s the real deal.
- Andreas Johnson: I’ve caught Johnson a few times this season and also heard great things about his game from some good hockey people. Might need to play a year in the AHL but right now in the Swedish league, this kid is one of the best players and fun to watch.
- Connor Brown: “Brown isn’t good. He only scored so many points in Erie because he was playing with McDavid.” I hear this a lot and laugh a bit because due to being a Leafs prospect, no one is willing to admit he’s just simply a smart hockey player. Brown is the leading scorer for the Marlies in his rookie season. I didn’t know McDavid also played on the Marlies! Wait, he doesn’t? That’s weird… How is Brown succeeding then???
- A new coach: All due respect to Pete Horachek…but I doubt he’s back as head coach next season. I’ll take him back as an assistant no problem but when you have potential available names such as Julien, Boudreau and Dave Tippett, I believe there are far more attractive candidates in play.
- The off-season makeover of the roster and management staff: I’d like to say goodbye in advance to Phaneuf, Bozak, Lupul, Kessel, and Nonis. It’s been great but your time is up. This summer, when Brendan the Dragon breathes, you’re all getting scorched.
- Kyle Dubas: Dubas was not hired as an assistant GM because of his ability to crunch numbers. He may be labelled as a numbers guru, but he’s a smart hockey guy who’s very familiar with the game at both the pro and amateur level. We pretty much have an amateur and pro level scout as part of our management team. That’s pretty sweet.
- Mark Hunter: Experience in playing, front office work and coaching. Currently our Director of Player Personnel who also may know a thing or two about the game. Has already had a huge impact on our recent signings and will continue to do so.
- Brendan Shanahan: I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Shanahan was a pretty good hockey player and played with some pretty good players on some pretty good teams. Isn’t that pretty? Shanahan means business and knows what it takes on a team for it to win. He has my trust.
- The 2016 draft: I’ve been keeping tabs on certain players who are eligible for the draft in 2016. There’s some really good talent there as well: Auston Matthews, Sam Steel, Jesse Puljujarvi, Logan Brown, Jake Chychrun, and more. Basically what I’m saying is we need to tank next season as well, Barfallo style.
We’ve gone through some dark times over the past decade, but rest assured, Leafs Nation, better days are ahead.