Brad Treliving explains reasoning behind Maple Leafs’ 2024 free agency class

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Arun Srinivasan
12 days ago
Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving spoke to assembled reporters over Zoom on Monday afternoon to explain the decisions and reasoning behind his team’s 2024 free agency class.
Treliving traded for Chris Tanev on Saturday, then successfully signed the defensive stalwart to a six-year extension Monday, added Tanev’s former teammate Jani Hakanpaa, signed fellow defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to a four-year pact, while inking Stanley Cup champion Anthony Stolarz to a two-year deal, which allows him to work in tandem with Joseph Woll.
Some have wondered why Treliving didn’t pursue a forward with open spots still available among the bottom-six, but he was pretty succinct about the need for more blue liners.
“I’d rather have too many than not enough,” Treliving said of the team’s decision to prioritize Tanev, Ekman-Larsson and Hakanpaa on the opening day of free agency.
It’s a fair point — Toronto’s most glaring needs were on the back end, while needed a goaltender to work in collaboration with Woll. Woll officially agreed to a three-year, $10.98 million extension with the Maple Leafs and could get an initial look at the No. 1 role.
“We have a lot of faith in Joe. That was a priority for us, to get ahead of that,” Treliving said of Woll to Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun.
At this juncture of the summer, we’d likely know if a Mitch Marner trade was imminent and Treliving said there’s been no update in regards to a contract extension or potential trade involving Toronto’s star winger.
“No update on Mitch,” Treliving said via Koshan. “Mitch is a great player. We’re lucky to have him. Craig (Berube) alluded to it at his last press availability. He’s excited to coach him and we move forward. Mitch is training, preparing, getting ready for the season.
Treliving was equally terse about John Tavares, who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Tavares has shown no indication to move his no-trade clause and is currently training at the team’s facility according to Sportsnet’s Luke Fox.
“I’m not going to get into any contract discussions we may or may not be having,” Treliving said via Fox.
Other notes: 
  • Treliving addressed Nick Robertson’s trade request, wishing him the best as a player. “We look at Nick as an excellent player, and there’s great opportunity for Nick here, and we need him to be a good player for us,” Treliving said via Fox.
  • Treliving hinted that the team may add another forward and warned against assuming that Easton Cowan and Fraser Minten had already punched their tickets to the 2024-25 roster. Treliving also hinted at adding more depth signings, and Toronto may be adding to its Monday haul shortly.

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