It’s an exciting time to be a Leafs’ fan.
That’s if you believe forward Brooks Laich, who said “with the youth, with the veteran presence, it should be a very competitive team that has a chance to win every night… I think it’s a very exciting time to be a player for the Maple Leafs and I think it’s a very exciting time to be a fan of the Maple Leafs.”
I understand the optimism.
As the Blue and White open training camp in Halifax today, the slate is once again clean.
Toronto’s roster has a good crop of young players who have some NHL experience, including Morgan Reilly, Jake Gardiner and Nazem Kadri.
And there are rookies and other youngsters who have Leafs fans dreaming of better times ahead, namely Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Mitch Marner, Frederik Gauthier and Nikita Zaitsev.
Mix in the odd veteran, like Brooks Laich, Tyler Bozak, James van Riemsdyk, Matt Martin, Leo Komorov, Frederik Anderson and perhaps Brandon Prust, and you have the makeup of a very interesting team.
The Leafs still have many unanswered questions.
But going into this season, and maybe it’s the Matthews effect, there seems to be a more upbeat vibe surrounding the Buds.
Listen, I’m not suggesting for a second that they’re a playoff contender this season, but the seeds Toronto has planted over the last few years is going to blossom sooner rather than later.