The Toronto Maple Leafs are still trying to explain how they fell to the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the postseason more than a week after their playoff elimination.
General manager Kyle Dubas thought he had provided his team with what was lacking in previous seasons : a stronger blue line and a veteran presence to bring the much-needed leadership in the dressing room to keep calm and focused on the task at hand. With Joe Thornton, Wayne Simmonds and Jason Spezza in the mix, that area was fulfilled, but it didn’t work.
Fans believe more grit is needed amongst the Leafs’ roster, and while a better goaltending situation is also often mentioned, a lot of chatter has come that Toronto should go after a talented yet physical player.
That’s when the name of Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals came up. Several fans and pundits think he should be added to the Maple Leafs’ roster.
Most fans will agree that more grit is always a nice addition, however, we cannot be sure Wilson is the right player for Toronto.
As you may remember, Wilson made headlines towards the end of the regular season when the Caps forward was fined $5000 for punching New York Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich in the back of the head as he was facedown on the ice, while also throwing star Artemi Panarin to the ice in the ensuing scrum.
On top of that, Wilson is a repeat offender, who was suspended for seven games in March for a hit that injured Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo. It was the fifth suspension of Wilson’s NHL career, the previous four coming in a 105-game span from 2017-18, which included a 20-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of Oskar Sundqvist of the St. Louis Blues back on Oct. 3, 2018, which was reduced to 14 games on an NHLPA appeal.
Is this what the Maple Leafs really need?