The Toronto Maple Leafs are coming off another incredibly disappointing playoff run and although the key figures in their management, such as general manager Kyle Dubas and team president Brendan Shanahan, have indicated that they will remain focused on their plan moving forward, there has been a ton of speculation regarding the future of their current roster.
That speculation will now likely only ramp up with one of the National Hockey League's most respected insiders recently hinting at a major move on the horizon for the Maple Leafs, one that he claims will be largely unexpected. That insider is none other than Chris Johnston who on a recent episode of the Steve Dangle Podcast hinted at the fact that he may have been clued in to some big plans for the Leafs this offseason.
"Here's a prediction to leave you with," began Johnston during his appearance on the podcast. "There's gonna be one player on this roster on opening night that is going to get everyone excited, I'm talking a big name or big promise player, and no one is going to see it coming. I think they're going to make a big move of some sort, it's not just gonna be the same group next season."
When pressed to give up the name of the player that he had in mind Johnston stuck to his guns and would not go any further.
"I have someone in mind but I can't release it to you," said the insider.
Johnston did narrow the field considerably however when he indicated that the player he believes will be acquired by the Leafs is not currently competing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That of course leaves a huge number of names out there as potential targets for the Maple Leafs, but perhaps even more interesting than the name of that player are the implications of Johnston's prediction.
The Leafs are up against the salary cap and if they do expect to keep forward Zach Hyman on their roster for next season, something that many close to the Leafs do not believe will happen, they will have even less space to work with in the offseason. The addition of a big time player would require the subtraction of one as well in that type of scenario, and who knows which Maple Leaf would be on his way out of the team in the scenario proposed by Johnston.
Who do you believe Johnston is hinting at? Which Maple Leaf do you expect to see moved in order to make room? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.