And that’s a wrap

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Photo: Getty Images via NHL.com

So ends the three-week nightmare that derailed a promising 2014 Leaf playoff bid. So begins weeks of soul searching while the real teams compete for the Cup in those playoff contests the Leafs teased us with last May.

The Leafs finished up the year with a 38-36-8 for 84 points. They had 80 points 28 days ago with 14 games remaining. That’s remarkable in a disgusting kind of way.

The Maple Leafs didn’t even do a good job faking half an effort tonight. Pretty sure the team in White didn’t cross the red line in the first three minutes of the third period. There was under two minutes to go and the Leafs killed like 15 seconds behind their own net.

A Leafs jersey was thrown onto the ice. Dave Nonis wasn’t even watching the game as far as I could tell.

We should probably acknowledge it’s at least possible Brendan Shanahan’s first directive as President was to secure the eighth overall draft pick. If so, it’s the first thing the Leafs have done right since beating the Los Angeles Kings.

We should also acknowledge rookie debutant Petter Granberg’s effort, who played well defensively and moved the puck well in his 12 minutes of ice.

For the bits I watched, I was mostly thinking: For whom is this the last ever game in a Leafs jersey?

Not technically wearing a jersey, but it’s almost definitely the last of Randy Carlyle, whose face looked flushed from stress a la Brian Burke during the 18-wheeler crash: 2012 edition. I wouldn’t expect him to be summarily dismissed without a little while to review and look into options, but forget your opinion on the guy for now; objectively, it’s impossible to picture the Leafs bringing him back with the way this has played out.

James Reimer seems like another sure bet and is the saddest to see go, if it happens. This was the fitting final chapter of Reimer’s Toronto tenure if so — a great effort with little support from the team in front of him.

Indeed.

How about the futures of Cody Franson? Nikolai Kulemin? Jay McClement? They’re among the soon-to-be free agents.

There’s also the possibility the Leafs go for a ‘core’ shakeup and move a big name and contract we aren’t fully expecting.

There’s tonnes of questions to be answered in the days and months ahead. We’ll get into our usual exhaustive analysis of the season that was and the off season to come starting next week. Falling apart and really meaning it does have the added benefit of a pretty good draft pick, and the 8th overall pick is something to rest some hope on tonight.

For now, thanks to everyone at Maple Leafs Hot Stove who stuck it out with us through thick and thin. There are few sports fans as loyal as the Leaf supporter and few Leafs supporters as diehard as those frequenting this website day in, day out, particularly during dire times like these.

  • ConnorCrisp

    :(

  • Mcost61

    I would like to say good job to the guys who did a good job, but I have not decided who to blame. Good thing I am not GM

  • RickC1983

    Thank god it’s finally over.

  • DJBrianBurke

    Thanks Alec (and everyone else at MLHS). It’s been another crazy up and down season. No better place to ride it than here on MLHS.

  • BingoDabber

    Classy choice of article image. Thanks Reims.

  • GreekGod

    Isn’t Franson RFA this summer not UFA?

  • RickC1983

    GreekGod RFA Really Fucking Awful

  • DJBrianBurke

    ConnorCrisp Leafs 2014: “We’ve mad a huge mistake.”

  • mike_84

    So does anyone disagree that the top 5 not in order will be
    Reinhart
    Ekblad
    Bennett
    Draisaitl
    DalColle

    Anyone else gonna sneak into the top 5?

  • loomx

    mike_84  I’d be shocked. Those are by far the best players in the draft IMO.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Echoing Alec’s final sentence… thanks to all the MLHS’ers

  • LeafsForLife

    Thank you Alec, Anthony, Declan and all the writers for this awesome site and your incredible work us!!

  • Leafs rule

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=711746402181856&set=a.604708799552284.1073741825.145639935459175&type=1&theater

  • Tim Horton

    loomx mike_84  There is always a suprise. Lasy Year Carolina took Lindholm a bit early. And Seth Jones fell a couple spots to 4th… This years draft is even more of a crap shoot.

  • GreekGod

    DeclanK  
    Even Fenton…?

  • djamon

    GreekGod  Yes. With arbitration rights.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    DeclanK  thanks Declan….one day man, one day it’ll all be worth it…

  • Leafs rule

    now that we are beaten again

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    GreekGod DeclanK  Even fenton. haha.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    GreekGod  I threw him in there thinking he was the RFA we may very well not bring back.

  • ShiftyD

    Thanks Alec. It must be a challenge to write this without full on rage and venom. Well done

  • LeafsForLife

    3-0 edmonton

  • GreekGod

    Alec Brownscombe GreekGod  
    Copy that.

  • djamon

    LeafsForLife  Of course.

  • LeafsForLife

    ShiftyD Oh Alec got that listening to radio on his way home today. lol.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Dangle_My_Berries DeclanK  Seems far away, but the margin between winning and losing is so tight in this league. I”d like a re-do, with a real coach, to see where the team truly is.

  • deedrag

    Thx for the good articles, from all the contributors, of the MLHS. Just wondering if you are going to do a final Hangout for the season? Maybe a draft themed one? Anyways thanks once again for the “BEST!” run Leafs fan site in the hockey universe!

  • whalz

    If that’s the case, I’d be fine with any of these players;
    Ritchie
    Ehlers
    Vantanen
    McCann
    Any of these Players would be a welcome addition to our prospects.

  • mike_84

    loomx mike_84  I could see someone taking a chance on Ehlers and taking him early on.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    DeclanK Dangle_My_Berries  playing something that resembles a defensive system could have us in the playoffs right now…..need a coach who gets the best out of his players and fully employs a 4th line

  • wiski

    I got a feeling one of Dion or Kessel will not be here next year.

  • GreekGod

    wiski  
    Kessel isn’t going anywhere

  • Mcost61

    wiski I am still in denial mode, this season went so wrong in last 15 games

  • Tim Horton

    whalz  McCann seems like another safe bet for the NHL Gauthier type deal. I really rather high risk high reward Morgan Reilly type selection.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Dangle_My_Berries DeclanK  Watching the Oilers swarm down low right now, so hard to watch

  • Xxxxxnew

    wiski  I’m wondering who has the reins now. Is it Shanny? Or is he on a learning curve.

  • FloorHockeyFlopper

    It felt satisfying cheering for the draft pick these last 2 games – I hope that doesn’t make me a bad leaf fan

  • Xxxxxnew

    Mcost61 wiski  In washington about a month ago. There were signs before that, but 8 games without even a loser point was brutal.

  • LeafsForLife

    3-1 edmonton

  • Cloud09

    Thanks Alec, Declan, Mike (Stephens and Langlois), AP, Curt, Gus, Penthouse and anyone else I missed for all the awesome Leaf coverage this season. Big steps forward with the Hangouts and AP’s Notebook being the defacto must read Leaf article. Looking forward to another round of interviews with Leaf management and scouting team. Hopefully you guys are able to get some better access to the Leafs and who knows, maybe an interview with the new prez. Also get another hangout with Henny, he’s the best.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    DeclanK Dangle_My_Berries  yupp….what was that business of eakins saying they employed carlyles system but it didnt work and he had to adjust?

  • whalz

    Mccaan has been compared to ROR. I solid two way player who could put up PTs. Id take that. Pretty good yr on a shit SSM team

  • Waiting4LSC

    The House that Alec built, Home to many. Sincerest thanks. Now more than ever we will need the Hot Stove. Alec, Declan, AP, michael(s), Mislav, and those I’ve missed, you have made being a Leafer a great shared experience. You have brought together serious hockey talent, and daily charged up posters with the opportunity for expression and venting. MLSE is in chaos, MLHS is a Leader.

  • LeafsForLife

    FloorHockeyFlopper its ok. nobodys perfect

  • loomx

    Tim Horton loomx mike_84  It’s different this year though. Last year there was a group of 8 that were better than the rest but the gap wasn’t huge. Now it’s the top 5, and then guys ranked 6th to 13th, then everyone else.

    Whoever passes on Draisaitl or Dal Colle in favour of someone else at 5th is dumb.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Dangle_My_Berries DeclanK  He said they make some alterations to the system because it wasn’t working.

  • FloorHockeyFlopper

    Dangle_My_Berries DeclanK  I hope I never see another leaf swarm in my life

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    DeclanK Dangle_My_Berries  how is it possible that an NHL coach is incapable of making adjustments to a system that c;learly doesnt work?

  • FloorHockeyFlopper

    LeafsForLife FloorHockeyFlopper  My parents were beside themselves, I’m like “look at the big picture guys”  lol

  • FloorHockeyFlopper

    Dangle_My_Berries DeclanK  I know, you could almost make a cartoon or sitcom about it