TJ Brodie of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Leafs defender speaks openly about his struggles on and off the ice, calling into question whether he should continue to play

Published January 20, 2024 at 2:23 PM
BY TJ TUCKER

TJ Brodie of the Toronto Maple Leafs has been relied on heavily in defensive situations since breaking into the NHL with the Calgary Flames. Toronto is still giving the 33-year-old a prominent role on the team, playing mostly on the top blueline pairing with Morgan Rielly. However, the big difference is Brodie hasn't been as good as he's been in recent years, and he knows it.

Brodie is getting more average ice time in Toronto this season than any of the previous three he's been with the Maple Leafs. However, he said he understands his underlying numbers aren't showing good results, and indicated his mind might be elsewhere at times.

"Sometimes you go through those phases, maybe lack of confidence, you're not getting the bounces and you grip the stick a little tight. Sometimes it's just taking a breath and things are ok and getting back on track."

"You just mentally think about there's more to life than just hockey and it's not the end of the world if you make a mistake, it feels like it at the time. You move on and try to learn from it and forget about it."




Rielly, Brodie's main defence partner, said he gets what Brodie is going through, and he just hopes he can somehow help him get through it.

"You push through you go through times where you're mentally in a battle. You try to push through and you want your teammates to be there for you. Hopefully he feels that and as is partner I want to be there for him. We talk all the time. It's nice to lean on one another off the ice as well."

Brodie is in the final season of a four-year deal he signed with the Maple Leafs in 2020 worth $5 million AAV.
POLL
January 20   |   248 answers
Leafs defender speaks openly about his struggles on and off the ice, calling into question whether he should continue to play

Do you think Brodie can return to form this season?

Yes6727 %
No14056.5 %
Not sure4116.5 %
LIST OF POLL
Latest 10 stories