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Who has played their last game as a Maple Leaf in 2021?

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Many will be gone, some are already forgotten, one we might be sorry to lose.

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Five Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

The Maple Leafs head into the 2021 offseason with a lot of UFAs and a lot of decisions to make. They also have an expansion draft to negotiate around. Free agency isn’t until late July, so there’s more than six weeks to get this all sorted, but some things are clear now. A lot of players have played their last game as Maple Leafs.

Riley Nash

Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens - Game Three Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Nash arrived recovering from an injury in a haze of confusion as nearly everyone in hockey media said the Leafs had made cap space by signing him, and no one ever did explain that.

In the end, he played two games, put in a total of 19:54, two seconds less than Adam Brooks, and he had a Corsi almost as bad. Finishing with 3-12.

By playing two games in the playoffs, he upgraded the pick spent on him from a seventh to a sixth, and before you start, the difference is effectively zero. It was a fine depth experiment, but ultimately amounted to less than keeping Alexander Barabanov would have provided.

Better luck next time, everyone.

Nick Foligno

Toronto Maple Leafs fall to the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in game seven in the first round of the NHL play-offs Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Kyle Dubas targeted Nick Foligno as the rental he wanted. He paid the premium price of one first-round pick and two fourth-rounders and got back Stefan Noesen, who Sheldon Keefe wouldn’t play and is also a pending UFA.

Foligno acquired some kind of injury both in the regular season and in the playoffs, but he came back, like players of his type do, too soon, and was ineffective in the final two games.

In the playoffs, he had a CF% of 51 in 48 minutes and didn’t do what he was hired for, through no real fault of his own, but he brought no responsibility to the top six and didn’t much help them keep the cycle going.

Sorry this was such a disaster, Nick, but you sure did try. Enjoy moving back to Columbus.

Joe Thornton

NHL: MAY 29 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round - Maple Leafs at Canadiens Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It was fun at times, but it’s over, Jumbo. He says he hasn’t decided yet, but I think he should go to Switzerland and live a good life.

Signing Thornton wasn’t a total disaster, but in retrospect it’s all a bit like going on your gap year backpacking trip through Europe when you’re 45. You might have fun, but you don’t have the stamina of a 20 year old anymore.

Thanks for all the fun quotes, Jumbo. Sorry this ended like it did.

Zach Bogosian

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game One Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Trying to make a second run at a cup in Toronto, Bogosian’s good regular season will give him opportunities this summer to sign up for another go. I don’t think that’s going to be in Toronto, but Keefe will actually play him, so maybe.

Most likely some other fanbase will be pleasantly surprised that all those horrible results in Buffalo was mostly Buffalo and not him.

Ben Hutton

Toronto Maple Leafs v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images

Much better than I thought he’d be, Hutton had an undisclosed illness and missed the playoffs. He’ll be recycling into the free agent market again, and someone will take him on as depth.

He appeared in four regular season games for the Leafs, but Keefe didn’t seem inclined to play him. That’s about all you can say. Good luck on your next team, Ben, you did nothing wrong, really.

Wayne Simmonds

Toronto Maple Leafs fall to the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in game seven in the first round of the NHL play-offs Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

I’m on the fence a little on Simmonds. He showed flashes of being able to move up the lineup, and I enjoyed how he played a fourth-line role with Jason Spezza, but he was overpaid, and would need to take league minimum to be worth re-signing.

I think that was it for Simmonds in Toronto. It was fun while it lasted, Wayne, and thanks for being you.

Alex Galchenyuk

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Seven Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images

Keefe only played him when he absolutely had to, so I don’t think Alex Galchenyuk is back, although Dubas held out the possibility of a return. Galchenyuk got what he needed out of Toronto, however, and he’s set up to look for a team that might give him some term stability.

I always love a redemption story, so I’m happy for him. Good luck, Alex!

Zach Hyman

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Five Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

I don’t want this to be the end for Zach Hyman. No one does what he does on the Leafs, and yet he’ll cost something like $6 million to re-sign. I think, therefore, it likely is the end, but I also think that’s a wrong choice if it is. He’s at that age where it’s tough to decide if you should give him too much term to keep him for three good years or buy him a gold watch.

Frederik Andersen

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Five Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

What a horrible end to Frederik Andersen’s term on the Maple Leafs. I’ll miss him personally because I like him, but I was right, once again, in my analysis that he should have been moved last offseason. There didn’t seem to be a deal there, but maybe one should have been forced.

Who’d be a goalie, eh? Goodbye Freddie, and tak for alle fiskene.


There will be others leaving, since someone is going to Seattle, and it feels like there needs to be trades of some kind, even if you don’t buy in on the ticking clock on Mitch Marner, and Kyle Dubas seems not to.

But here’s the question for you all. If you didn’t have to worry as much about cap space, would you re-sign Zach Hyman for something like four or five years at $5.5 million? He turns 29 in a few days, and any contract he gets as a UFA is going to run right up close to age 35, so would you do it? Or is it time to say goodbye and thanks for all the fish to him as well?

Poll

Would you take a chance on Zach Hyman for 4 or 5 more years?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Yes
    (1423 votes)
  • 43%
    No
    (1086 votes)
2509 votes total Vote Now