lol. they were one period away from advancing. they almost did so against the team with the second best defensive record of any playoff team. their core group are a bunch of sophomores facing a team that has 9 guys with rings. they could have easily been swept after the first two games but took the series to 7 games and almost won.. and thats with a shitty ass defense.See my post in NHL playoff thread.
Leafs are not even close to competing in the playoffs.
So where does that leave us?
In the end, I think you’re looking at a general manager whose biggest successes were the ones that mattered most: Phaneuf, Rielly, Kadri. His failures were normally muted by the fact that the moves were fairly inconsequential or the picks were low-percentage plays to begin with. He wasn’t perfect but the Zaitsev extension aside there’s not a lot you should be really upset about (maybe the squandered picks for Plekanec and Boyle, or the Martin signing). Lamoriello took a team in transition and brought them forward. Now it’s someone else’s turn.
More notes from Tavares watch and free agency:
— There’s been a lot of talk about the various tax advantages teams have when signing free agents to a massive contract. Colleague Marc Antoine Godin wrote a great piece detailing how a little creative accounting can go a long way in leveling the playing field on this front. He basically detailed how teams playing in Canada can wipe out any tax disadvantage they face compared to teams in Texas or Florida, where there is no state income tax. But still, this is a real consideration for players in general. One agent of a player who signed a massive free-agent deal in recent years said it was a serious consideration. “The amount of money difference with Montreal and Florida is enormous,” he said. “Montreal knows it. They feel it. I really think there should be a factor for that. Montreal’s cap shouldn’t be the same as Florida’s.”
— It may be a consideration, but money doesn’t appear to be the motivating factor in the Tavares decision. His go-to line all year was that he was going to take into consideration everything that factored into his day-to-day life. So, it’s about where you live, how competitive the team is, what the setup is, how he likes the city. This will be a lifestyle decision. “They’re all good teams,” said one NHL source of the Tavares finalists who came through LA. “All teams that with John Tavares, they’re going to be favored to win the Cup.” So then it becomes— does he want to pursue that Cup with the team that drafted him? Does he want to pursue it on a great team in a warmer setting without a ton of media pressure? Does he want the spotlight and the return home of Toronto? The salaries, the taxes, all that stuff will end up being secondary. This was never a money play for Tavares. If it was, he would have signed with the Islanders already.