Former Leaf reflects on his time in Toronto, excited to begin next chapter in Carolina
BY RYAN SMITHERAM AUGUST 16, 2023 (8:40 PM)
"It came down to a decision of taking the money and going somewhere else or coming home to Toronto. I knew I wasn't going to make as much here. But I think when that when that decision came up, it was kind of a no-brainer to come home and experience that. I was familiar with Kyle (Dubas) and I was familiar with Sheldon (Keefe) too. And obviously, you know, it worked out and I had a great two years here. I built chemistry with Auston and Mitch in that first year, and I kind of just ran with it and each game more confidence would build and build and you kind of feel like you belong in the NHL, and you feel like you can keep up with everybody."
It was a pair of great years for Bunting who scored 23 goals each year and collected a total of 112 points with the Leafs before departing for Carolina this off-season.
"I really enjoyed my time in Toronto," said Bunting. "It's home here, I grew up a Leafs fan, so I will always cherish that. But I'm really excited to start my next chapter with Carolina."
Bunting ended his time in Toronto by getting suspended in round 1 against Tampa following a high hit on Tampa blueliner Erik Cernak and registering just 2 points in 7 playoff games. He was a fan favourite in Toronto during his two years because of his willingness to get involved in scrums and always trying to get under the opponent's skin. Unfortunately, he was also seen as a bit of an embellishment artist by the end of his tenure by the refs who seemed to let him take more punishment while calling him immediately. Bunting will surely receive a warm welcome when he returns to Toronto with the Hurricanes, but that will have to wait as the Canes don't visit Toronto until March.
Quotes drawn from Sportsnet.ca
HOW MANY GOALS WILL MICHAEL BUNTING SCORE THIS SEASON?
AUGUST 16 224 ANSWERS
|15 OR LESS||67||29.9 %|
|LIST OF POLLS|