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3 Free Maple Leafs Goals That Fit Craig Berube’s Style – Hockey Writers – Toronto Maple Leafs

With Craig Berube now at the helm, the Toronto Maple Leafs are facing a crucial time in their Stanley Cup quest. Berube, known for his no-nonsense coaching style and emphasis on accountability, brings a wealth of experience and successful pedigree behind the bench.

Related: NHL Insider Sees Maple Leafs Targeting 2 Veteran Goaltenders

As the Maple Leafs look to elevate their game under his guidance, identifying players who fit Berube’s coaching style is now a priority in the offseason. Here’s a look at a few players who might test the open market and who could fit into this style.

Dakota Joshua

Dakota Joshua could be an interesting player for the Maple Leafs. Joshua brings a mix of size, physicality, and flexibility, traits that fit well with the Maple Leafs’ new bench boss and his emphasis on a hard-nosed, defensively responsible style of play. Berube values ​​players who can contribute in every situation, and Joshua’s ability to play a tough, two-man game could earn him opportunities to make a difference in a variety of roles on the roster.

Dakota Joshua, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / Hockey Writers)

Joshua was drafted by the Maple Leafs in the 2014 NHL Draft. Later he was sold to St. Louis Blues, where he began his NHL career under Berube. During his time with the Blues, he wasn’t a point producer but a big-bodied fourth lineman who could log 10+ minutes per game and throw his weight around.

After joining the Vancouver Canucks, his career took off. In the last two seasons with the Canucks, he scored 23 and 32 points. Joshua’s performance in the 2024 NHL Playoffs, with four goals and four assists, could help him earn more money on the open market this summer. He will likely spend around $2.5 million–$3.5 million per season for two to three seasons, similar to Maple Leaf David Kampf’s contract.

Chris Tanev

Chris Tanev is a solid defender, who excels at blocking shots, positioning, and killing penalties. Berube, known for his emphasis on organized defensive play, is likely to seek out Tanev’s defensive acumen and ability to bolster the team’s blue line. Tanev also had a previous relationship with Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving from their time with the Calgary Flames. Treliving appeared to be available for Tanev at the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline but, unfortunately, lost the bid to the Dallas Stars.

Related: Easton Cowan Should Crack Maple Leafs’ Lineup in 2024-25

If Tanev hits the open market, expect him to be contacted by Treliving soon about signing with the Maple Leafs. He is a right-shooting defenseman who would fit well with Morgan Reilly on the top pairing, giving the team a proper top defensive pairing for the first time since Rielly’s career (2013-14) began in Toronto.

Tanev is playing well for the Stars, it is doubtful whether they will let him go and the reason could be the cost. The longer he plays in the playoffs, the more money he puts into his new contract. Right now, he’s probably asking for a $5+ million average annual value (AAV) over two to three seasons. Given his age (34), teams may not want to give him longer than that.

David Perron

David Perron should be a highly desirable asset for the Maple Leafs. He brings a strong playing style and the ability to produce offensively. Perron also has the experience of winning the 2019 Stanley Cup under the guidance of the new head coach of the Maple Leafs. He returned to the Blues three times, where he finally won the World Cup. In his four seasons under Berube, he had seasons of 46, 60, 58, and 57 points. Most recently, with the Detroit Red Wings, he had a 56-point, 47-point season.

Even at 35 years old, he can still easily produce a 40-point season, and if you add in the Maple Leafs’ offensive firepower, he could even reach 50 points. Although unlikely, if Berube has a say in player purchases, Perron is likely to be at the top of his list. While signing Perron may be a little expensive, probably somewhere in the $3.5 million to $4 million range for one or two seasons, his potential impact seems worth it.

Related: Easton Cowan Should Crack Maple Leafs’ Lineup in 2024-25

The Maple Leafs roster is talented and adaptable enough to play well under Berube’s guidance. Berube can create a winning culture and lead the Maple Leafs to new heights in their Stanley Cup run with an emphasis on accountability and dedication to team success. Combined with Treliving adding a few new players to make the transition to a new bench manager easier, the Maple Leafs could be successful next season and continue to lift the Stanley Cup.

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