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Maple Leafs No Longer a Championship Vacation spot Amid Jeff Skinner, NHL Rumors

Erik Beaston July 4, 2024 Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images The Toronto Maple Leafs have been quieter than most in free agency thus far, making news for deals that did not get done as opposed to those that did. Chris Johnston of the appropriately named The Chris Johnston Show reported that Jeff Skinner turned down

Maple Leafs No Longer a Championship Vacation spot Amid Jeff Skinner, NHL Rumors

Erik BeastonJuly 4, 2024

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 15: Brayden Point #21 of the Tampa Bay Lightning against Jeff Skinner #53 of the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at Amalie Arena on April 15, 2024 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images)

Mark LoMoglio/NHLI by way of Getty Pictures

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been quieter than most in free company to this point, making information for offers that didn’t get executed as opposed to people who did.

Chris Johnston of the appropriately named The Chris Johnston Show reported that Jeff Skinner turned down signing with the crew, regardless of information that “the Leafs particularly pitched the thought of taking part in on a line with Auston Matthews and [Mitch] Marner.”

It was not that way back, the Leafs have been a vacation spot crew. They have been a crew that attracted free brokers within the pursuit of successful the membership its first Stanley Cup since 1967.

Add to it the historical past and status of taking part in with the group the truth that Matthews and Marner have been two of the very best gamers in skilled hockey and also you had much more motive without spending a dime brokers and commerce candidates to hunt out Toronto as a possible touchdown place.

That Skinner turned down the chance to go to the crew and particularly play with Matthews and Marner suggests a change within the NHL universe.

Matthews and Marner are nonetheless wonderful, with the previous setting a crew report for targets in a season and each main their crew to the playoffs once more.

It’s what occurs within the playoffs, although, that will very properly be adversely affecting gamers’ want to play there.

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The crew has been eradicated within the first spherical of the playoffs six of the final eight seasons, together with 2023-24. They haven’t made the convention finals since 1999. For the entire status and honor that comes with taking part in for the Maple Leafs, a company that’s to hockey what the New York Yankees are to baseball, its incapability to recover from the hump and win a championship is astonishing.

That the groups, together with some wonderful ones which have employed high-powered offenses, have failed to point out up and play championship hockey, can be stunning.

Worst of all, the truth that possession and the entrance workplace have but to determine it out, regardless of having two of the very best gamers within the sport in Matthews and Corridor of Famer Mats Sundin throughout that span, is an indictment of their capability to assemble a championship squad.

Towards that specific backdrop, it isn’t stunning {that a} veteran corresponding to Skinner is perhaps hesitant to depart Buffalo, simply over the US-Canada border from Toronto, would wish to be a part of the Leafs.

He finally signed with Edmonton on a one-year, $3 million deal.

That crew has the very best participant on this planet in Connor McDavid and had managed to construct a crew round him that’s constructed particularly to excel in high-pressure conditions and big-time playoff video games, of which there have been a lot this previous season.

That Toronto is Skinner’s hometown crew and that he had by no means performed in a single playoff sport, however nonetheless handed on the chance to go well with up for the Leafs solely highlights that the crew is not the championship vacation spot it was beforehand for gamers seeking to make cash within the pursuit of constructing historical past.

Will the Leafs nonetheless be good subsequent yr, with Matthews main the way in which as one of many league’s premier scorers?

Sure, however he must do it understanding the Leafs didn’t safe among the best wingers in free company as a result of he believed he had a greater likelihood to win elsewhere than in a metropolis that eats and breaths the game of hockey.

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