Jun 27, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; William Nylander poses for a photo with team officials after being selected as the number eight overall pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs Season Preview: Randy Carlyle on the Hot Seat?

The Toronto Maple Leafs are coming off yet another disappointing season in 2013-2014. Will Phil Kessel and company be able to turn things around during the 2014-2015 season?

We talked to Tim Bayer, editor of EditorinLeaf.com, about the upcoming season and what to expect from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Here is what he said:

 

Q: Who were the key additions to the Toronto Maple Leafs over the offseason?

A: Stephane Robidas could be a big addition if he’s able to stay healthy. I’m excited to see what Mike Santorelli and David Booth can bring to the team, but they’re likely to fill roles in the bottom six.

 

Q: Who were the key departures from the Toronto Maple Leafs over the offseason?

A: Nikolai Kulemin, Mason Raymond and Carl Gunnarsson. The Islanders and Flames outbid the Leafs for Kulemin and Raymond, respectively, while Gunnarsson was traded to the Blues along with a fourth-round pick for Roman Polak. It will be difficult to replace Raymond’s scoring, Kulemin’s defensive awareness and Gunnarsson’s overall solid defensive play.

 

Q: Do the Toronto Maple Leafs look better than last year’s team?

A: That’s open for interpretation. I don’t think they’ve adequately replaced Raymond and Kulemin, but their overall forward depth should be better. The defense should also improve with the addition of Robidas, but can he stay healthy? I’m going to call it a wash at this point.

 

Q: What else does Toronto need to do this offseason in order to really improve?

A: Get a number-one centre. In all sincerity, they’re likely finished making moves. Now they just need to get restricted free agents Jake Gardiner and James Reimer under contract.

 

Q: Which player on the Toronto Maple Leafs is the key to the team’s success in the upcoming season?

A: Phil Kessel. He had a breakout season last year and will be counted on to power the offense again. James van Riemsdyk is a pretty great running mate, and Nazem Kadri is very talented, but beyond them, he likely won’t get much help putting pucks in the net.

 

Q: How would you grade the Toronto Maple Leafs’ offseason so far?

A: B-

 

Q: How competitive do you expect the Toronto Maple Leafs to be next season?

A: I expect the Leafs to be their usual brand of mediocre. The good news is if the Leafs aren’t very good, head coach Randy Carlyle will probably be fired. We’ve been waiting for that day for years.

 

Q: Are the Toronto Maple Leafs a playoff team? If so, are they a Stanley Cup contender?

A: They might squeak into the playoffs, but no, they aren’t contending for the Cup this year. 

 

Big thanks to Tim Bayer of Editor in Leaf for taking some time to answer our questions about the Toronto Maple Leafs and the season ahead. Check out EditorinLeaf.com for up-to-date news, rumors and opinions surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs.

 

 

Tags: NHL Season Preview

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