Toronto Maple Leafs: Pros and Cons of Adding Max Domi
Jul 28, 2023
May 25, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars center Max Domi (18) shoots the puck in the Vegas Golden Knights zone during the third period in game four of the Western Conference Finals of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
With the NHL offseason quickly approaching, the Toronto Maple Leafs have some tough choices to make when it comes to their upcoming group of free agents.
One area of interest is their forward group. The Toronto Maple Leafs have numerous forwards on expiring deals, as well as many rumors about trading one of the "core four".
They could use some help up front.
One player of intrigue who is set to become a free agent is former Montreal Canadien, Max Domi. Domi brings a unique skill set that many admire, and he could become a true impact player for the Leafs, but he also possesses some demerits which could make him a risky option.
In the second round vs the Florida Panthers, the Leafs were by far the slower team. Apart from William Nylander and Mitch Marner (Matthews is a fine skater, but not really a speedster), Alex Kerfoot and Sam Lafferty, the Leafs do not possess many super-fast skating forwards.
Adding Domi would help change that.
One thing many recent Stanley Cup champions have in common is they were all very fast. Looking back at teams such as Colorado, Tampa, and Pittsburgh, they all had numerous players who could carry the puck with tremendous speed. Even this year's cup finalists, Florida and Vegas, are both very fast teams.
The Leafs could use another great skater.
Another criticism the Leafs faced was not having enough edge or feistiness on their team during the playoffs, Domi can help fix that issue.
Domi's the type of guy who will win puck races and battle hard in the corners, and even partake in the occasional fight. He’ll also stand up for his teammates if he needs to.
Now that's a guy the Leafs want on their team.
In the 2018-19 season, Max Domi put up a career-best 72 points and a points-per-game of 0.87 as a member of the Montreal Canadiens. He followed that season with PPGs of 0.61, 0.44, and 0.54. There is a massive dropoff in the following seasons.
Even this year, he put up a very strong 49 points in 60 games with the Chicago Blackhawks. However, the Hawks were terrible and used him on the top line. Following his trade to Dallas, Domi put up just 7 points in 20 games because a good team will use him lower in the lineup. (stats: nhl.com)
If the Leafs choose to sign him, which version of Domi are they getting?
In recent years, the Leafs have had players cross the line earning suspensions trying to do too much for the team, specifically in the playoffs. As all Leaf fans are aware, both Nazem Kadri and Michael Bunting have been suspended in recent playoff years for crossing the line, arguably becoming liabilities.
Domi has had previous suspensions, as well as a recent $5000 fine for slashing.
Not saying he is a dirty player by any means, but a player with that kind of history might be someone the Leafs want to avoid, considering their recent experience with suspensions.
In conclusion, Max Domi is a risky option for the Leafs. If you ask me, I’d probably stay away from signing him, but he’d be a high-risk, high-reward type of player.
Domi brings some strong attributes to his game, and if he's at his best, he could impact the Leafs in a strong way. He has proven he can produce if given top-end minutes.
We’ll see what the Leafs do on July 1, and if they decide to add Domi or stay away.