Following another first-round playoff exit, the Toronto Maple Leafs have some tough decisions to make but there should be no hesitancy in giving the team's core stars another shot next season.
- Would you run it back, yes or no? So, obviously, when it comes down to the pieces on the outside, maybe you might have some changes there. But as far as, like, the core, would you run it back? Would you bring back the Matthews, obviously? No, Matthews, Marner, Tavares, Nylander, would you bring them back, or would you make changes?
Bunting is still here another year at 950, that's sweet. Ilya Mikheyev's a UFA. I don't know if you can afford that based off not-- I don't know if it's-- I don't know if it's because of the-- the contract demands, or like, what he will ask, or just based off of the nature of free agency and that I think people might be willing to overpay for a speedy winger who can play in your middle six, play on the-- play on the penalty kill. Now, does his playoff performance hurt his-- hurt his price tag? Maybe.
So, if I'm Dubas, you know, and I probably try, maybe see if he can bring him back. But seeing for him this might be his opportunity to kind of cash out. So-- so, then [INAUDIBLE] might be over there.
Spezza. I mean, I think you probably try to bring Spezza back just so he can hit-- just so you can hit 1,000 points. As far as being, like, a key contributor, I don't even know how old he'll be next year. 38, maybe? 39? So, that one will be tough.
Giordano? I'd try. I think he can still play. I think he can still play at this level. So, I'd definitely give it a shot.
Justin Hall? Peace, man. It's been fun. And that's not being-- again, not blaming the loss on him, but like, no, I think we're done here. Give Liljegren a spot. I don't think Liljegren should come out-- come out of the lineup next year. I think this was a good stepping stone for him this year, and especially the fact that he did get some playoff experience. So, I think that's great. But yeah, Hall. Yeah, I think you find a-- find something to do there.
And then for Giordano, like, if that doesn't work out, then Rasmus Sandin is there. I think he's ready to take another step as well. Yeah, it's-- there's always David Kampf. David Kampf is around still too for another year at 1.5. So, that's cool too.
So, yeah, I think maybe you kind of just, like, meddle around the edges a little bit, but I think you still-- I think you-- I think you run it back. You expect that the core is going to take another step forward. Or hey, maybe over the offseason there's a deal that the Leafs are offered that could be a huge upgrade, if that'd be cool. I think second line left wing you got to upgrade there, for sure.
So, Kerfoot, man, he had a-- Kerfoot, he had a solid season. I think he had, like, 53 points or something like that. Had his shiny, shiny moments in the playoffs. I think for Kerfoot, I think we're done here too. I think maybe you might want to make a change there as well to kind of get more of an impactful player. And again, that's no disrespect to Kerfoot, because again, he's been solid on the penalty kill.
The connection with him-- with him and Marner. But at 3.4, I think I'd like a little offensive finish, you know? Especially for a team that is committing so much to four players, I think you need to kind of get more bang for your buck. And at 3.4, I'm not sure if Kerfoot is exactly worth that deal. So, maybe that's another area that you kind of-- that you kind of look to navigate.