Apr 12, 2014; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf (3) tries to clear the puck following a block by goalie James Reimer (34) in the second period against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs to stand pat on 2014 roster

The Toronto Maple Leafs have hardly done anything in 2014 to alter their roster, especially when compared to last year’s run at David Clarkson and others in free agency. That’s just fine with General Manager Dave Nonis, who made it clear in a recent interview that standing pat was all part of the plan for the Leafs.

“There’s still a couple little pieces there that we may have interest in,” Nonis said per the National Post. “But we’ll see. There’s a few players where we’ve kicked the tires, and we’ll see if there’s a fit. But by and large, what we have right now is what we’re going to start with.”

Those may be the wisest words to emerge from MLSE headquarters in years. Where was this attitude last year when the team was rolling out the red carpet for David Clarkson and his seven-year contract? Perhaps Leafs management has learned their lesson — for this year anyway.

The team wasn’t entirely dormant this summer. They signed free agent defensemen Stephane Robidas, 37, and Roman Polak, 28, to serve as two of the three right-handed blue liners on the roster. Cody Franson, who just signed yesterday, is the third to balance out the blue line a little better.

The Leafs also wisely passed on overpaying third-line center Dave Bolland, which was a coup unto itself for a franchise that can’t help but overpay some guys sometimes.

In all, the dearth of activity in Toronto is a good sign for fans. It shows that management is willing to finally be a little patient with a roster that’s still very young at its core. Next year may not see this team fight for the Stanley Cup, but if the Leafs can just stick to the path they’ve forged and build around what premier talent stands on the roster, this approach should pay off big in the long run.

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Tags: Toronto Maple Leafs

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