The promised Toronto Maple Leafs dynasty that is yet to deliver   

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at New York Rangers
Is time really running out for the big 3 in Toronto?

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been a cornerstone franchise in the NHL since the league's inception. With 13 Stanley Cup titles, the Leafs are historically one of the most succesful teams in ice hockey.

With their last trophy coming in 1967, a Stanley Cup parade in downtown Toronto is long overdue. But with the team staring at another early exit in their playoff series against the Boston Bruins, it becomes increasingly clear that the promise of a Maple Leafs dynasty remains unfulfilled.

At the center of this narrative is the heralded trio of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander. Collectively dubbed the "Big Three," the three stars were supposed to usher in a new era of dominance for the blue and white.

However, when the spotlight burns brightest in the postseason, their performances have too often faltered, leaving the franchise and its fans questioning their future in Toronto.

Is it the end of the road for the Big 3 in Toronto?

As the 2024 NHL playoffs unfold, the Maple Leafs find themselves in a familiar predicament. Trailing 3-1 in their first-round series, the writing is on the wall for yet another premature exit.

With frustration running high not only on the bench but among the fans as well, it's the collective struggles of Matthews, Marner and Nylander that has come under the spotlight.


Auston Matthews, has undeniably dazzled with his scoring prowess during the regular season.

With 69 goals, fans and analysts alike expected the Maple Leafs star's rich vein of form to translate in the playoffs as well. But with only one goal scored so far in four playoff games, Matthews' lack of production has seriously dampened the team's offensive prowess.

William Nylander's absence through injury for the first three games was a major talking point. But even with his presence in Game 4, Toronto struggled to make it count during the powerplay.

However, the player who's faced the most critcism for his recent playoff performances has been Mitch Marner. The 26-year-old Canadian once again has fallen short of expectations when it matters most.

Despite his two-way game being among the best in the league through the regular season, his output of two points in four games has left many to wonder how the Maple Leafs might negotiate his upcoming contract.

Mitch Marner's postseason performances have Toronto Maple Leafs fans left wanting
Mitch Marner's postseason performances have Toronto Maple Leafs fans left wanting

With one year left on his current deal, Marner could be the candidate to be shipped out to make way for some much needed cap relief. With a cap hit of $10.9 million, interested teams could find it difficult to accomodate his contract.

If push comes to shove, the Maple Leafs might be forced to retain some of his salary or face the prospect of losing him for nothing come the end of next season.

Despite the promise of a new era of dominance, the dream of a dynasty for Toronto remains just that – a dream. For now, the reality is that the the road ahead for the Big 3 in Toronto might not be as clear cut as envisioned earlier.

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