It did not take long for rumours to emerge out of Toronto once the Maple Leafs choked again in a Game 7, this time at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens, who ousted the Leafs again in the first-round series. The main rumour: it might be time to break up the core of star players.
Toronto has now lost seven straight post-season series, and dropped eight consecutive contests where it could have eliminated an opponent. That includes seven since 2018 with the core of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander.
Marner did not score a single goal in the series, collecting four assists in seven games, and fans were quick to point out his $11 million price tag, stating that he should be moved this summer for not being a clutch postseason player. In Wednesday’s press conference, Marner was asked about that possibility- the Leafs breaking up the core - and answered this, starting by complimenting his general manager Kyle Dubas, maybe to get him on his side.
“We have an unbelievably talented general manager.
“Everyone just wants to get into panic mode and do stuff and try to change something up, but I think they (management) have a lot of confidence in our team. It’s up to them to decide what they want to do. We all know how much talent we have.”
There is no doubt that the Maple Leafs are full of talent : that’s why the collapse this time around is so shocking.
Maybe a shocking move is what is needed.