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Plus/Minus – Grading the Toronto Maple Leafs Offseason

Posted By Corey Krakower On Jul 20 2011 @ 11:32 am In Toronto Maple Leafs | No Comments

**Rating system for “Plus/Minus” Series**
+3 = Major Upgrade
+2 = Upgrade
+1 = Slight Upgrade
0 = Same as prior year
-1 = Slight Dowgrade
-2 = Downgrade
-3 = Major Downgrade

Team: Toronto Maple Leafs
2010-11: 85 points, #10 in Eastern Conference

GOALIES

Returning: James Reimer, Jonas Gustavsson

Arrivals: N/A
Departures: JS Giguere

Grade: 0

The way I look at it, the Leafs lose their #2 goalie, but his starts (26 last year) will go to both Reimer, who is better, and Gustavsson, who is worse. This offsets as having virtually the same performance from their goaltenders in 2011-12.

DEFENSE

Returning: Dion Phaneuf, Luke Schenn, Keith Aulie, Mike Komisarek, Carl Gunnarsson

Arrivals: John-Michael Liles, Cody Franson
Departures: Brett Lebda

Grade: +2

Replacing Lebda with Liles and Franson looks phenomenal, but it is a bit misleading. This study is based on how teams ended the season versus how they will start in 2011-12. In reality, Liles is replacing Kaberle (traded during 2010-11 season) and Franson is replacing Beauchemin (also traded), so the +2 rating is a bit generous.

FORWARDS

Returning: Phil Kessel, Mikhail Grabovski, Clarke MacArthur, Nikolai Kulemin, Joffrey Lupul, Colby Armstrong, Nazem Kadri, Tyler Bozak, Mike Brown, Colton Orr, Jay Rosehill

Arrivals: Tim Connolly, Philippe Dupuis, Matt Lombardi (does not count, expected to be on LTIR)
Departures: Tim Brent, Frederik Sjostrom

Grade: +2

While I feel Tim Connolly was drastically overpaid by the Leafs, he is still a significant upgrade to their top 6. Factor in the expected improvement of Nazem Kadri and you could argue that this could easily be a max rating of +3. Dupuis as the fourth line center over Tim Brent is an even swap.

OVERALL RATING: +4
2011-12 prediction: #7-#9 in Eastern Conference

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