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.

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Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]
  • 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.