A first look at the Maple Leafs’ upcoming free agent defencemen and goaltenders

As the Leafs prepare for a pivotal fourth game in Sunrise, there is obviously a lot on the line. We all know what’s at stake, but perhaps many of us haven’t considered that this could be the last time we see a handful of players don the blue and white. The below list looks at Toronto’s upcoming free agents with some objective stats and brief analysis (plenty more to come following the conclusion of the playoffs). I’ll start with the goaltenders and defencemen, and dive into the forwards in another article.
Erik Kallgren – RFA
Kallgren has not enjoyed the best of years. He has undoubtedly slid down the pecking order over the duration of the season. He hasn’t dominated in the AHL and his middling numbers show no sign of progression after last year. Having played 10 games for the Maple Leafs this season, he would have hoped that his play would have taken a step forward from the 14 that he suited up for last season. Kallgren turns 27 this upcoming fall and is an RFA.
Ilya Samsonov – RFA
We will definitely elaborate on Samsonov and what’s next for him at the end of the season. He has exceeded expectations this year, and will certainly be back between the crease next year for the Maple Leafs. A first- …

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Author: Bennett Jull / The Leafs Nation

Leafs need to be flexible with Knies, Holmberg should be an option, and the 11/7: Leaflets

Tonight the Leafs make their fourth attempt at eliminating the Lightning from the playoffs, the second attempt this season. The previous three haven’t gone particularly well, but as the saying goes, the fourth or fifth time is the charm. And if you are looking for some additional optimism, the Leafs haven’t been defeated in three straight games since October so with this current iteration of the Leafs the wheels seem far less likely to come off. I’m sure absolutely none of that is comforting and when it comes to all the numbers, being favourites in the series, and the knowledge that this dynasty of failure can’t go on forever, it doesn’t change that an entire generation hasn’t seen the Leafs live up to their potential. It would be great if that changes tonight and we can raise the bar from “just win a round” to “win it all.”
Deploying Knies differently
It was very cool to see Knies up in the top six for game five. We won’t reflect on how that game went for the Leafs, but certainly no one is hanging anything on Knies and he has established himself as a competitor that Sheldon Keefe wanted out with the best of the Leafs forwards to …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation