It’s a bit of a running joke in our twitter mentions at this point. Every aged, underperforming free agent that comes available there seems to be a TLN article asking if the Leafs should be in on them. I get it, you’ve seen that story before. It’s also less than a week to free agency and we’ve had a month of nothing to do but think about how the Leafs need to improve. The reality is that even as a very talented team, the Leafs have proved time and time again that talent isn’t going to carry them as far as we want them to go. Roster changes are needed.
The truth behind roster changes being needed brings us to the truth that leads to us exploring the lesser players that are available. The Leafs aren’t exactly sitting on a ton of cap space at the moment. In fact their cap space disappears very quickly once you potentially sign Travis Dermott and Ilya Mikheyev. It’s at best around $5M the Leafs have to work with unless they are making some other changes we don’t know about. That’s why we shop the bargain bin. That’s why we talk about downgrading to Lundqvist in net, amongst other reasons. That’s why we consider if Wayne Simmonds can be a fit. And that’s why today I’m writing about Brandon Montour, a defenseman who didn’t exactly thrive in Buffalo.