Brad Treliving reportedly never considered breaking up the Leafs' core

Published September 27, 2023 at 12:42

The Toronto Maple Leafs were a team to keep an eye on this summer. It wasn't entirely certain which direction they were going and if the team would break up their core which features Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander.

After advancing to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2004, expectations were high, but ultimately, the Maple Leafs lost to the Florida Panthers. Maple Leafs fans were left asking 'what's next?' and the first order of action was to replace Kyle Dubas, who was not being brought back as the team's General Manager.

Former Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving was brought in and almost immediately, helped form the team's new identity. Along with Matthews, Marner and Nylander, all of whom are exceptional players in their own right, Treliving signed Tyler Bertuzzi, Max Domi and Ryan Reaves to add that physicality they've been missing and that's necessary for playoff hockey.

Following that, Treliving turned his attention to re-signing Auston Matthews, who was a year away from unrestricted free agency. The two sides were able to hammer out a four-year deal which makes Matthews the highest paid player in the league at $13.25 million.

As the team prepares for the 2023-24 season, Treliving sat down with Jonas Siegel of The Athletic to discuss a number of topics, but one that stood out above the others was the fact that he was never considering breaking up the Maple Leafs' core.

"Coming in and not having an inside view and just saying, 'I've got to do something just because of the narrative here' doesn't make any sense," said Treliving. "I have to get to know it. I have to know where we can improve. But to do something, to take a really good piece and say, 'I'm moving it so I can stand up and say, I made a change' doesn't make sense to me."

The biggest question mark now for Treliving is, will he be able to get William Nylander signed to a contract extension? Nylander is set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and both sides have yet to come close on a new deal.

There's plenty of expectation, both internal and external, on the Maple Leafs this season as they look to improve on their playoff performance from last season. The Maple Leafs will kick off their 2023-24 season at home on October 11th against the Montreal Canadiens.

September 27   |   121 answers
Brad Treliving reportedly never considered breaking up the Leafs' core

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