Three of Toronto's Biggest Problems That Their Next GM Will Have to Fix

Wade Messier
May 21, 2023  (9:08 PM)

With major dates such as the NHL Entry Draft and the beginning of the free agency period just over a month away, Kyle Dubas' replacement has plenty of work ahead of them. Just how much is truly on their plate?

Too Many Goalies to Count

Toronto finds itself with an abundance of goaltending options, making the situation quite puzzling. Numerous netminders within the organization are vying for a coveted spot in the NHL. However, with Ilya Samsonov set to return after an impressive season, the new GM will likely need to make some changes to their organizational depth.
One name that stands out is Matt Murray, who had a rollercoaster season with mixed results. Moving the goaltender might require sacrificing valuable draft picks, but it could be worth it to create room for the promising young talent of Joseph Woll.

Free Agency Options

Let's be clear, Toronto's focus is not on signing free agents from other teams but rather on dealing with their own pending free agents. Some notable players on expiring contracts include Michael Bunting, Ryan O'Reilly, Noel Accari, Alex Kerfoot, David Kampf, Wayne Simmonds, Zach Aston-Reese, Justin Holl, Luke Schenn, and Erik Gustafsson.
Toronto boasts a group of promising young players who have honed their skills in the AHL and are eager to secure roster spots in the upcoming training camp. The new GM will face the challenging task of shaping the roster for the 2023-24 season, making important decisions about who stays and who goes.

What to do About the Stars

The biggest hurdle for the next GM revolves around the "Core Four." Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, and William Nylander make up this talented group, eating up a staggering 42% of Toronto's salary cap. To add to the complexity, Matthews and Nylander are entering the final year of their contracts, meaning they may not return next offseason. With that in mind, Toronto's next GM may have to look at all of their options with these star players.
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