3 former Maple Leafs players thriving elsewhere to start 2023-24

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been up and down this season, but some former players might make them envious of what they could have been.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Nashville Predators
Toronto Maple Leafs v Nashville Predators / Brett Carlsen/GettyImages
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The Toronto Maple Leafs seem to be getting their game going after an offseason full of changes. After finally breaking their "first-round loss" streak ended with a series win against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Leafs fell short in the second round. Despite the talent, the Maple Leafs haven't been to the Conference Finals since 2002.

This offseason, the Leafs added some big pieces in their pursuit of a championship. Tyler Bertuzzi surprised many when he joined the Leafs. Max Domi felt like a perfect compliment for the Leafs' bottom six. John Klingberg was going to be the value defenseman who would play above his contract. Ryan Reeves would bring some grit to the lineup on a nightly basis that would prove useful in the playoffs.

None of that really worked out. The Leafs are better now than at the start of the season, but the additions haven't helped much. Domi has the most points of all the new players, and he's yet to score a goal in 15 games. Bertuzzi has just six points to start the season. Klingberg had been messy in his own zone. Reaves is... well... bad. With the struggles of the Leafs' new weapons, it's natural to wonder what former Leafs are doing right now.

3. Ryan O'Reilly, Nashville Predators

Ryan O'Reilly shocked everyone when he decided to sign with the Nashville Predators this offseason. He had a chance to sign with a contender, just like the Leafs. Instead, he chose a team that would pay him well. He signed a four-year deal worth $4.5 million per season. It's not an astronomical price for a player of his caliber, but it's likely the most years someone offered him. He's 32 years old, so teams in contention are less likely to take that risk.

O'Reilly has 14 points in 15 games to start the season. He's been great, full stop. His chemistry with Filip Forsberg is palpable. This is a great signing so far. Although, it is unfortunate it hasn't turned into wins. Juuse Saros hasn't been a world-beater, and it's led to Nashville being at the bottom of the NHL standings. Still, the Leafs could really use O'Reilly's contributions.