Toronto Maple Leafs training camp has finally kicked off with a round of medicals on Wednesday, with on ice sessions beginning on Thursday. The Leafs are coming in very motivated and with a lot of new faces. Even the newcomers are aware of the narrative surrounding this team and they're here to lend a hand to help change tat narrative.
The Leafs have been disappointing in the postseason and I don't think that's an overreaction. With six consecutive first round exits, I don't think the Leafs are impressing anyone when it matters, which says a lot considering the type of talent they employ. Auston Matthews
, John Tavares
, Mitch Marner
, William Nylander
and Morgan Rielly
comprise the team's primary core, with players like Jake Muzzin
and Mark Giordano
likely also factoring into the leadership group as well. These guys are all on the hunt for the same thing. A Stanley Cup.
For GM Kyle Dubas, he is risking it all for this collection of players. After comments made by President Brendan Shanahan to Dubas, explaining that there would be no contract extension coming for him this summer, it really is time to put up or shut up for the young GM.
Dubas knows exactly what is on the line. He's under immense pressure to succeed now. The first step is to win in the first round and extend the team's postseason - but that's not Dubas' goal. It's not the thing that he has circled on his white board in his office at Scotiabank Arena, nor his office at Ford Performance Center. Dubas did not mince words on Wednesday when he revealed what the goal for this season is for the Leafs.
"Our goal is to win four series, not one.
-Kyle Dubas on the Leafs' goal for this season
Perhaps we'll see a different Kyle Dubas this season - one who is not afraid to pull the trigger on a deal that makes his team better should one arise. One who won't tolerate a minimal effort from anyone on the roster and one who will stop at nothing to win, even if it means moving out a core piece to shake things up and create a winning culture instead of a friendly one. Only time will tell.
WILL THE LEAFS WIN THE STANLEY CUP IN 2022-23?
SEPTEMBER 21 476 ANSWERS
|YES, THIS TEAM DESERVES IT AND THE FANS DESERVE IT||171||35.9 %|
|NO, THEY'RE STILL A FEW YEARS AWAY||83||17.4 %|
|MAYBE IF THEY TRADE FOR A TRUE #1 GOALIE||93||19.5 %|
|THIS TEAM IS CURSED||129||27.1 %|
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