"There are a lot of red flags"- Ex-Predator Carter Hutton and NHL analyst heavily criticize Toronto Maple Leafs' offseason moves

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Dallas Stars
Toronto Maple Leafs' offseason moves criticized by NHL Analyst Nick Alberga (Image via imagn)

NHL analyst Nick Alberga was critical of the Toronto Maple Leafs' offseason activity. Alberga pointed out the team's lack of significant changes despite another early playoff exit and suggested that sticking with the same core roster could result in repeating past playoff disappointments.

"Nothing's really changed. I mean, you could tell me there's been change. There has been, but it's always the same thing. When you have the same nucleus, it's going to be the same results in my world," Alberga said on Leafs Morning Take.

Former Nashville Predators goaltender Carter Hutton echoed Alberga's concerns. Hutton pointed out the team's difficulty advancing past the first round, despite having a roster built for scoring.

"You can't get into the playoffs, it wanes every year. Last year, we looked back on winning a first-round against Tampa where realistically they weren't that great, you know, like they could have easily lost that series just as well as they won it," Hutton said.

He described playoff losses to teams like the Panthers and Bruins as indicative of underlying issues.

"And then just to get whacked by the Panthers this year, just to get whacked by the Bruins. They go to seven, but they can't score, especially when your team is built to score and you can't score. There are a lot of red flags there."
"So I think as a fan now and as an analyst on the other side, something's got to change. It obviously hasn't. And again, it's insanity. I agree. I think you're hitting the nail on the head," Hutton added.

Both analysts agreed that without significant changes, the Toronto Maple Leafs risk repeating history.

Toronto Maple Leafs pursue Jani Hakanpaa amid injury concerns

On July 1, Toronto Maple Leafs' GM Brad Treliving mentioned Jani Hakanpaa would join the team. Reports from TSN's Darren Dreger suggested a two-year, $3 million deal, but an official announcement is pending. Concerns about a knee injury Hakanpaa sustained earlier this year linger.

Mark Masters from TSN noted Hakanpaa hasn't played since mid-March and missed the playoffs due to his injury.

"That's of course raised red flags that we haven't had confirmation because of the knee injury he had at the end of last season," Masters said via (SC with Jay Onrait on TSN). "He didn't play in the playoffs [with the Dallas Stars], he hasn't played since mid-March. So, that's a big question mark.

If signed, Hakanpaa will strengthen Toronto's penalty kill, which ranked 23rd last season. The Toronto Maple Leafs have eight defensemen expected on the roster, including Morgan Rielly and Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Hakanpaa might compete with Conor Timmins and Dakota Mermis for a spot on defense.

Quick Links

Edited by James Carter
App download animated image Get the free App now