The Toronto Maple Leafs have been the joke of the NHL for many years and despite poor performances on the ice, the team was still selling out their arena. The 2014/2015 season was their worst in recent memory and things got so bad that fans started to lose their patience which was visible from the number of Leaf jerseys thrown on the ice to losing their streak of sold out games. It is fair to say that poor management has been the culprit behind the disastrous Maple Leaf teams of recent years. Many point the finger squarely at Larry Tanenbaum where it has been rumoured for years that his general managers were puppets and he made many decisions.
Odds & Predictions for Toronto Maple Leafs 2015/2016
Toronto Maple Leafs - Total Points - Brad Boyes over 31.5 -120 at Bodog
Toronto Maple Leafs - Total Points - James van Riemsdyk over 54.5 -120 at Bodog
Toronto Maple Leafs - Total Points - Nazem Kadri over 51.5 -120 at Bodog
Toronto Maple Leafs - Total Points - P.A. Parenteau over 36.5 -120 at Bodog
Our predictions: Stanley Cup don't bet on it. GM of the year is a good payoff to take Lou Lamoriello. Coach of the year maybe. Over 32.5 wins that is a tough one. Expect it to go under. Remember Leafs have no real star players so average players will be collecting big minutes this year so we can expect a player like Brad Boyes to cash in with the points and same for PA Parenteau.
That said, at least the fans have something positive to look forward to. The team has officially hit rock bottom and credit should be going to Tim Leiweke for making the bold decision to make Brendan Shanahan team president. Most people at the time thought it was a poor decision but Shanahan has pulled off getting the most sought out coach in the NHL in Mike Babcock. Most thought he would never consider Toronto because it's reputation as a pressure cooker not to mention how bad things have got in recent years. Who knows, maybe Leiweke was threatening to leave the club if he didn't get the team making decisions away from Tanenbaum and that's what you have with Brendan Shanahan and now they've added the most experienced general manager in hockey in Lou Lamoriello. This season the team is not exactly expected to make the playoffs but a lot of people are expecting big things from Mike Babcock and many consider him to be a no nonsense type of coach. People believe the players will aim to be better under his leadership and he might get more value out of the players than what's happened in previous years. The team lost Phil Kessel to Pittsburgh where the sad part is he gets to play with Crosby and he'll no doubt score more goals but he was clearly a problem in Toronto and didn't seem to care either, not worth the $8 million/year he collects. Right now the team has a wealth of prospects and if they don't make the playoffs this year, they'll be collecting more pieces of the future puzzle. If the team also doesn't hit the playoffs, they'll be sellers and can expect to cash in on that situation while still rebuilding the team. Let's not forget Toronto has the biggest fans in the NHL, they know their hockey and care about their team and no other NHL team would have lasted as long if they endured Toronto's problems of recent years. They know what Mike Babcock can bring as well as Lou Lamoriello and those 2 are no doubt instant stars in the city. They have a huge task of turning their current team into competitors. Fans should at least expect a few more changes this year and expect some players to get shipped out at the trading deadline. Yes, Kessel jersey should be thrown on the ice: