The Toronto Maple Leafs performance last year was one of the most pitiful performances in hockey betting history. In fact, in the 99 years that the franchise has existed the 2015 – 2016 was the worst season in team history. At the end of the 2014 – 2015 season Brendan Shanahan, the Maple Leafs’ president, kept good on his word and did a complete overhaul of the organization bringing in a new general manager and all new coaching from top to bottom. Mike Babcock was brought in as the new head coach with a lucrative 8-year $50 million contract becoming the highest paid coach in the history of the NHL. Babcock is certainly happy with the contract but he’s not overly excited about his team’s performance last year.
Last year the Leafs were unable to maintain any level of success. At times they played well but overall their performance was inadequate, leading to a 29 – 42 – 11 record. Their 53 home losses set the franchise record and they finished last in the NHL standings, something no Leaf team had accomplished since the 1984 season. Although at they were in a position to make the playoffs they failed to do so, becoming Babcock‘s first team to miss out on the playoffs since 2004 when he was coaching the Mighty Ducks. Even with this list of disappointments, Babcock was still commended for being willing to coach a team that had a terrible reputation. Even though they were hockey betting flunkies one good thing did come out of last year’s season, the Leafs won the first overall pick for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
With that pick Toronto decided to elect Auston Matthews the 18-year old center. Matthews was recently playing for the ZSC Lions, a professional hockey team in the Swiss National League A (NLA). Matthews chose to play one year abroad due to the fact that he was not eligible for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Matthews’ brief tenure in the Swiss league shows exactly what the young recruit is capable of doing. At the end of the season Matthews was the second best scored on the Lions and ranked 10th in the NLA, and even more impressive was his 1.28 points-per-game second only to Pierre-Marc Bouchard. These accomplishments paved the way to the NLA Rising Star Award and Matthews’ was even able to place second in the MVP polls. Last year may have been a disappointment for Toronto, but with the addition of Matthews the Leafs may just be able to turn around their hockey betting odds.
While Matthews is a great recruit all by himself he may just come with an added perk. Toronto, and every other NHL club, will be vying to secure the NHL’s hottest unrestricted free agent, Jimmy Vesey. As is common knowledge by now, the Leafs will be using Matthews to help sway Vesey to Toronto. But the potential to play with a promising young star is just one of the few things the Leafs can offer Vesey; his brother and father are already a part of the organization. Toronto offers Vesey the opportunity to both literally and figuratively, be part of their family. If they secure both these promising recruits you can expect to see the Maple Leafs at the top of all the best betting websites.