The Toronto Maple Leafs' players met with the media this morning (via Zoom) to break down their season, review what went wrong and talk about the future. Then later in the afternoon, the Leafs' management group including President Brendan Shanahan and General Manager Kyle Dubas met with the media to talk about what sort of changes will happen this offseason as a result of the Leafs' shortcomings and... well it's safe to say that changes are coming.
When asked if there will be changes, Shanahan didn't mince words:
"There will be changes. There's a killer instinct that's missing that we need to address."
Many Leafs fans took this is a direct shot at superstars Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. Both players CLEARLY lacked the 'killer instinct' that Shanahan is referring too and there is a large contingent of Leafs Nation that would like to see both of these players sent packing. In particular Marner has drawn the ire of Leafs fans thanks to his poor playoff performances and a perceived lackadaisical attitude.
And now it looks like the frustration around Marner is a two-way street. In his season ending press availability Marner himself expressed frustration over the fact that people are questioning his drive and his work ethic. In particular Marner has taken issue with reports that he skipped practice prior to Game 7 to play a round of golf and that he insisted that head coach Sheldon Keefe put him on the wing during the Powerplay. It's believed that Marner prefers to play the wing on the PP as an homage to his favourite player Patrick Kane.
In any case, Marner says these reports are a "complete lie."
Check it out:
True or not, it's safe to say that things are turning ugly with Marner and the Leafs' fanbase. And you know what? The kid made his own bed, now he's forced to lie in it. He absolutely bent the team over with his stiff contract demands and he has failed to deliver when it mattered most. You don't get to have your cake and eat it too... not in the NHL. You can be the hometown hero, but you have to deliver. You can't just talk the talk, you have to walk the walk too.