It seems with Tyson Barrie gone there is another offensive defenseman drawing heat from Leafs fans in the early days of the season, and it’s Morgan Rielly. We’ll start with an acknowledgement that Morgan Rielly’s stats have been pretty crappy this year. Rielly has the lowest xG% of any Leafs defender, and for a player who is more offensively driven, the fact that he only has one primary point to his name is a bit bothersome as well. In contrast to those numbers it should be acknowledged that once again the Leafs are asking Rielly to start the year with a new defensive partner, and one that plays a significantly different style than his previous one. Is that enough of an excuse, for some of you yes, for others no, and that’s why it’s always complicated when it comes to Toronto and offensive defensemen.
Larry Murphy is definitely the name that sticks out the most when discussing defensemen with high offensive acumen, but liabilities in their own zone. Murphy didn’t have the benefit of playing in an era where underlying shot statistics existed and as such was much more of a hard case than …
Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation