After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, NHL.com is examining where each team stands in preparation for the 2022-23 regular season, which starts Oct. 7. Today, the Toronto Maple Leafs:
2021-22 season: 54-21-7, second in Atlantic Division; lost in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs
Matt MurrayG: The 28-year-old was acquired from the Ottawa Senators on July 11 with a third-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft and a seventh-round selection in the 2024 NHL Draft for future considerations. Murray was 5-12-2 with a 3.05 goals-against average and .906 save percentage in 20 games last season, and was 15-25-3 in 47 games during two seasons with the Senators… Ilya SamsonovG: The 25-year-old, who became an unrestricted free agent after he did not receive a qualifying offer from the Washington Capitals, signed a one-year contract July 13. Samsonov was 23-12-5 with a 3.02 GAA, .896 save percentage and three shutouts in 44 regular-season games (39 starts) last season and 1-3 with a 2.97 GAA and .912 save percentage in five playoff games (four starts). He was 52-22-8 with a 2.81 GAA, a .902 save percentage and six shutouts in 89 games (79 starts) for the Capitals, and will battle Murray for the starting job. … Calle JarnkrokF: The 30-year-old signed a four-year contract July 15 after having 30 points (12 goals, 18 assists) in 66 regular-season games for the Calgary Flames and Seattle Kraken last season. … Nicolas Aube-KubelF: The 26-year-old signed a one-year contract July 13 after he had 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in 67 regular-season games with the Colorado Avalanche last season. He had no points in 14 playoff games and won the Stanley Cup. … Adam GaudetteF: The 25-year-old signed a one-year contract July 13 after he had 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 58 games with the Chicago Blackhawks and Senators last season. … Jordie BennD: The 35-year-old signed a one-year contract July 14 after he had eight points (one goal, seven assists) in 39 games with the Minnesota Wild last season. … Victor MeteD: Like Benn, the 24-year-old adds depth on defense after signing a one-year contract July 14. Mete had seven assists in 37 games for the Senators last season.
Video: NHL Tonight on the Maple Leafs getting Matt Murray
Jack CampbellG: Signed a five-year contract with the Edmonton Oilers on July 13 after going 31-9-6 with a 2.64 GAA, .914 save percentage and five shutouts in 49 regular-season games (47 starts) last season and 3-4 with a 3.15 GAA and .897 save percentage in seven postseason games. … Petr MrazekG: Traded to the Blackhawks with the No. 25 pick in the 2022 NHL Draft on July 7 for a second-round pick (No. 38) in 2022. Mrazek was limited to 20 games (18 starts) last season because of a groin injury, going 12-6-0 with a 3.34 GAA and .888 save percentage. … Ilya MikheyevF: Signed a four-year contract with the Vancouver Canucks on July 13 after having 32 points (21 goals, 11 assists) in 53 regular-season games and four points (two goals, two assists) in seven playoff games last season… Ilya LyubushkinD: Signed a two-year contract with the Buffalo Sabers on July 13 after having 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) in 77 regular-season games with the Maple Leafs and Arizona Coyotes last season and one assist in seven playoff games. … Ondrej KaseF: Signed a one-year contract with the Carolina Hurricanes on July 13 after having 27 points (14 goals, 13 assists) in 50 regular-season games and three assists in seven playoff games last season… Jason Spezza, F: Announced his retirement from the NHL on May 29 after 19 seasons and was hired as a special assistant to Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas. Spezza had 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists) in 71 regular-season games and one assist in five playoff games.
On the cusp
Nicholas RobertsonF: The Maple Leafs are looking for secondary scoring behind their big four Austin Matthews, Mitchell Marner, John Tavares and William Nylander, and the 20-year-old will be given every opportunity in training camp to show his ability. A number of injuries, including a broken right fibula Oct. 17, limited Robertson to 49 games (21 goals, 23 assists) with Toronto of the American Hockey League and 16 games (one goal, one assist) with the Maple Leafs during the past two seasons. Robertson had 55 goals in 46 games with Peterborough of the Ontario Hockey League in 2019-20.
What they still need
Depth. After the Matthews-Marner-Tavares-Nylander core, there are no sure things as to where the rest of the goals will come up front. On defense, Morgan Rielly has established himself as a No. 1, but there is no standout candidate to be the No. 2. In goal, Murray was limited to 47 games over the past two seasons and has shown a penchant to be injury prone.
The Maple Leafs have a boom-or-bust fantasy goalie tandem in Murray and Samsonov. Murray (.906 save percentage) and Samsonov (.896) were inconsistent last season. But each goalie also has a high ceiling considering Murray won the Stanley Cup twice with the Pittsburgh Penguins (29-21, .921 save percentage, six shutouts in postseason career) and Samsonov has an outstanding regular-season record (52-22-8 , six shutouts). Samsonov is ranked slightly higher than his new teammate Murray in fantasy, and each is a fringe top 25 goalie option for this season. — Pete Jensen
They said it
“It will be wide open to competition. We will give them both a good run here. Our hope is that both play as well as they can. We will get to work with them here in mid-September and get them rolling. That would be a great thing for us if both of them played the way that we think they can.” — Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas on the battle for the starting goalie job between Murray and Samsonov
Michael Bunting — Auston Matthews — Mitchell Marner
Alexander Kerfoot — John Tavares — William Nylander
Pierre Engvall — David Kampf — Calle Jarnkrok
Nick Robertson — Adam Gaudette — Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Morgan Rielly — TJ Brodie
Jake Muzzin — Justin Hall
Mark Giordano — Timothy Liljegren