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5 things Leafs fans should be THANKFUL for

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Photo credit:Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
8 months ago
Full disclosure: I’m writing this while watching yet another insufferable preseason hockey game.
Well, mercifully, the exhibition slate is now officially over, and we can all look forward to Wednesday night.
But first, we feast.
Before you chow down on some holiday turkey, don’t forget to squeeze in some reflection time.
Even though there have been some dark, dark times for the Maple Leafs franchise over the past decade or so, without question, there’s plenty to be thankful for.
With that in mind, here are five of them:

Auston Matthews

After months of speculation, the 26-year-old put pen to paper on a four-year, $53-million contract extension this summer, which means he’ll likely be a Maple Leaf for the next five seasons —and hopefully beyond. Just seven seasons into his NHL career, Matthews has already firmly cemented himself into the G.L.O.A.T (Greatest Leaf of All Time) conversation. On top of that, it’s tough to argue against the notion that he’s already the greatest goal scorer in franchise history. Much, much more to come.

Brad Treliving

 Considering how beloved the previous general manager was in Toronto, this one will probably come with mixed reviews. That said, there’s no question that early in his tenure, Treliving has brought the stability this franchise desperately needed, especially after everything that transpired surrounding Kyle Dubas’ unceremonious exit. As per usual, we’ll see what happens in the springtime.

Kyle Dubas

Love him or hate him, the 37-year-old, who’s now the President and GM in Pittsburgh, did leave behind a few presents for his successor. Firstly, there’s 2021 second rounder Matthew Knies. He looks like an absolute stud. Then, there’s Joseph Woll, who’s set to start the season as Ilya Samsonov’s back-up. Additionally, Fraser Minten, a 2022 second rounder of the Dubas administration, had an unbelievable training camp. There are a few others coming, too.

Brandon Pridham

Pridham, one of Toronto’s assistant general managers and chief resident capologist, will never get enough credit for the job he’s done over the years. The Leafs spend to the cap every season, and thanks to Pridham, they’ve been able to be very creative and measured with the way they do business. This guy’s a wizard, but funny enough, not many people would be able to pick him out in a crowd.

Alcohol

Honestly, where would we be without it?
Considering the recent history of playoff failure and disappointment, it would be wise to get a lather on and develop a bit of a tolerance in the regular season in time for the fun stuff in April. Just keep some champagne on ice —just in case.
Happy Thanksgiving!
 

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