Toronto Maple Leafs at a glance
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
LAST SEASON: 30-44-8, 68 points. Did not qualify for playoffs.
COACH: Mike Babcock, 13 NHL seasons, 527-285-19-119.
ADDED: Babcock, D Matt Hunwick, C Shawn Matthias, RW P.A. Parenteau, C Nick Spaling, LW Daniel Winnik.
LOST: LW David Booth, D Eric Brewer, D Tim Erixon, RW Phil Kessel, RW Colton Orr.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Dion Phaneuf. When the 2014-15 season ended, it was thought that it would also mark the end of Phaneuf’s tenure in Toronto. For a team about to undergo a complete overhaul, the popular thinking was Phaneuf might be able to fetch a decent return. But Brendan Shanahan, Babcock and the rest of the Leafs’ brain trust decided to hold on to their No. 1 defenseman. Last season, Phaneuf averaged 23:43 of ice time in 70 games.
OUTLOOK: When Babcock was introduced as the Leafs’ newest coach, he stated unequivocally that reconstruction of the Leafs will be ”painful.” It was an honest admission that miracles do not happen overnight; that an organization that has stockpiled draft picks and prospects must still continue to build before Toronto can once compete for playoff berths and Stanley Cups. As such, do not expect a playoff appearance since this season is about laying the foundation for the future of the franchise.