It's Day 2 of my FTB streak and today we'll talk about the forwards.


The only forward move Treliving made was re-signing Domi to four years. He notably did not re-sign Tyler Bertuzzi, using that money instead on defense (rightfully, I must say). No other additions have been made and no other RFAs have been re-signed – though Connor Dewar filed for salary arbitration yesterday.

Last season, the Leafs finished second in goals in the NHL, with all their offensive metrics top five or better. Here's brief rundown of those numbers:

CF/60: 10th (total shots)
GF/60: 2nd (total goals)
xGF/60: 5th (expected goals)
SCF/60: 4th (scoring chances)
HDCF/60: 2nd (high danger shots)
HDGF/60: 4th (high danger shots that were goals)

The only deflated number is total shots, which I think will get a natural improvement when the Leafs are stuck in their own zone less thanks to a competent defense.

It's safe to say the offense is fine, or more accurately sublime. It would've been nice to bring the whole group back together as they'll lose a bit without Bertuzzi, but there's a possibility they can fill that complimentary left wing spot via trade (I'm thinking of this as an answer to the Liljegren Question).

Treliving needs to fill out the edges of the offense at some point, whether it be in the summer, training camp, the November "fresh start" trade boom, or the Trade Deadline. Of the current free agents, I'm interested in Dominik Kubalik (friend of fellow Czech David Kämpf), JVR (because of course), or maybe Nino Niederreiter via trade?

However, this whole conversation is mute if the Leafs intend to play Domi in the top six next to Matthews, the only player who can truly insulate away Domi's utter inability to play hockey.

I have a lot of criticisms of Domi as a player. He has skills but none of them fit together. He can skate, but he can’t transition the puck. He can pass, but his shot is as far away from Marner's as Marner's is from Matthews. He has offensive talent but was utterly terrible on the power play. He hits, but he takes bad penalties consistently. And he is downright detrimental on defense.

I don’t think a team can win with him playing above the fourth line, really. And at that point the penalty differential and lack of special teams is a killer. Domi was great with Nick Robertson playing rush offense, throwing pucks through the slot, and not worrying about Joe Blow scoring on them the other way. To me, those are premiere fourth liners.

Keefe plugged his nose for a year because he didn't have the leverage or the alternatives, as have all his coaches before. I don't know how a four year contract is going to go, especially with a coach like Berube who demands players “to be strong on pucks” and “win puck battles.”

The bottom six will probably be fine with the subtraction of Domi and no other additions. McMann, Holmberg, Järnkrok, Dewar, Kämpf, and Reaves are the six currently. Depth will be found before the season starts, but this part of the roster was all the way at the bottom of the priority list for anything significant to be done here.

Given the right support, I believe in a Kämpf line to move the play positively up the ice (turn DZ starts into OZ starts for the next line) while looking bad doing it. He just needs to get away from guys like Gregor and Reaves (his most common linemates last year). Reaves is fine if you don't ask him to do much. The problem is Kämpf can do much more than what he can do with Reaves. Give him Holmberg and Dewar and you might have something. The problem with that is what does the other line look like, who does Reaves play with, and more importantly who plays centre. I'll let Berube figure that out. C-

Various Leafs and Branches

As mentioned before, Dewar and 13 others have filed for salary arbitration, a process that typically happens in August. We'll see if they come to a settlement before a decision is made by the judge.

A very good third line centre, Ryan McLeod, was traded for highly regarded prospect Matthew Savoie yesterday. Cathy was upset the Leafs didn't get McLeod.

PuckPedia have added a much-desired roster construction tool to their website.

Ben Danford's coach is leaving Oshawa to join Seattle's organization.

PWHL Montreal have come to Toronto for the Laura Stacey "Sticks In For Charity" road hockey tournament and silent auction this weekend.