May 21, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Toronto Maple Leafs new head coach Mike Babcock is flanked by club president Brendan Shanahan (right) and board chairman Larry Tanenbaum during an introductory media conference at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
While there are not many expectations for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the 2015-16 season still offers intriguing storylines to follow
With the Toronto Maple Leafs opening training camp in a month, there is a lot of excitement following the recent shakeup by President Brendan Shanahan during the offseason. With the additions of GM Lou Lamoriello and head coach Mike Babcock, the rebuild has a strong leadership group to lead it.
Shanahan made it clear that changes were coming to the organisation. Undoubtedly, the biggest ones made was trading elite goal scorer Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
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That was after hiring Babcock, but before Lamoriello came on board. To say those two hirings were the bigger surprise is a understatement, because a lot of people didn’t expect the Leafs to land even one, never mind both.
However as exciting as these announcements are, what matters most is what happens in the next two, three, four and even five years down the road. That is why players like James van Riemsdyk, Nazem Kadri, Tyler Bozak, Joffrey Lupul, Dion Phaneuf, Morgan Rielly, and Jake Gardiner will have to be willing to follow the new direction.
If not, don’t expect Shanahan to show patience with this group. There will be a lot of young players hoping to make the roster.
However, expect many of the younger players to be with the Toronto Marlies, who will be stocked with a lot of young talented players once again. Here is a month-to-month breakdown of the Leafs schedule this upcoming season.
Next: Mike Babcock returns to Detroit