Last year, the Toronto Maple Leafs finished 7th last in the league after a dissappointing campaign that had high expectations. They failed to make the playoffs for a third straight year mainly because of poor defensive play and inconsistant back-up play by Andrew Raycroft.
Quite Frankly, I don't think Paul Maurice was quite up to the task of coaching in Toronto.
However, the wrongs were corrected this off-season. Cliff Fletcher went out and reinforced the defence. The pairing of Kubina (assuming he will maintain his form from the end of last season) and Kaberle should produce points as well as prevent scoring on the other side.
McCabe and Finger could learn a thing or two from each other: Finger teaching McCabe the art of not giving the puck away, and McCabe teaching Finger how to shoot from the line.
Coliacavo and Stralman both have tremendous potential as long as they stay healthy.
As for the offense, I would only be concerned if Sundin does not come back.
The Leafs have good depth in their centers, but do not have a number 1 guy. Without him, we have no one to captain, let alone score more than 60 points on the team.
A good friend of mine told me, "TML should change their name to the Toronto Fourth liners" Dammit, I would not mind if they did. Cliff traded and signed to bring in a line of tough guys that might live up to the Domi/Tucker/Roberts combination.
Finally, the leafs brought in a new coach and CUJO (yay), therefore fixing all of the problems from last year. Ron Wilson is a Defense first type of coach that can really work with young guys to improve their game. Who knows, the Maple Leafs have the potential to suprise ALOT of people next season.
With All these things, what else does a team need to compete?
P.S Even if we do make the playoffs, would it be worth it to pass up on the Tavares sweepstakes?