I’ll spare you the trip down memory lane to the failed David Clarkson era and the mind-boggling stupidity of paying Matt Martin $2.5M AAV for four years. We can all acknowledge that the Leafs history is riddled with mistakes that only serve to ruin what could still be a pretty good weekend.
Instead, we’ll focus on the recent Keefe-era Leafs and explore how there seems to be a steady decline in outputs from physical forwards the second they put on the blue and white.
Wayne Simmonds serves as Exhibit A here and perhaps the weakest argument as Simmonds did seem capable of playing a role in the Leafs lineup when he arrived. In his first 12 games with the Leafs, Simmonds picked up 5 goals and it was a wrist injury that shut him down.
After that initial season, Simmonds’s time on ice declined sharply. He was still doing what he was brought in to do and that was hit a ton, and fight when he was called upon to do so, but he very much was a fourth liner after his wrist injury and the shifts in the top nine were almost non-existent.
Simmonds’ numbers h …
Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation