Michael Bunting's Fiesty Antics Have Continued in Carolina

Published October 2, 2023 at 9:04 PM

Michael Bunting was a solid top-6 forward during his time with the Leafs, however, he developed a certain reputation around the League. It appears this reputation has followed him to Carolina.

Michael Bunting's Past as a Maple Leaf

Before coming to Toronto, Michael Bunting was a gritty forward who was fighting to make a name for himself in the NHL. After establishing himself in Arizona, the Leafs were able to pick him up for a reasonable $995,000 AAV, and he immediately outperformed his contract.

Bunting had 112 points in 161 games with the Leafs, 46 of those being goals. He had great chemistry with Auston Matthews, as the two had complimentary playing styles. Bunting was notorious for working in the dirty areas, freeing pucks up for Matthews to finesse into the back of the net.

Bunting Developed a Reputation in Toronto That Has Followed Him to Carolina

Bunting wasn't just a workhorse forward, he also played the instigator role, and he did it quite well. For his first few seasons in Toronto, he was able to successfully draw penalties by annoying opposing players to the point of frustration. However, this didn't last long.

After the referees figured out that Bunting was gaming the system, they started to call him out for his actions. His reputation quickly slid downhill with nearly every ref in the league.

Michael Bunting might be the first pest in NHL history who has been asked to change his reputation.

Bunting Continues to Take Penalties in Carolina

It appears that Bunting's reputation has followed him to Carolina, as he took 3 penalties in his preseason game on Friday. Rod Brind'Amour and the Hurricanes would likely hope for him to stay out of the box, as Bunting has been performing well for the Hurricanes when he is on the ice.

What an angle of the Bunting pass + Skjei goal + the celly afterwards #LetsGoCanes

As seen on Hockey Patrol - "Michael Bunting's Reputation Hasn't Changed After Latest Preseason Game"
October 2   |   143 answers
Michael Bunting's Fiesty Antics Have Continued in Carolina

Should the Leafs have kept bunting on a similar deal that he signed with Carolina?

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