Maybe local businesses should all pitch in to sign a number one goalie or a power forward for the Leafs. On average, a home playoff game for the Leafs brings in $3 million to the city's economy. You can do the math - the city is missing out on tens of million of dollars every year the Leafs don't make the playoffs. The Leafs themselves are missing out on millions in ticket sales, merchandise, beer/food sales, etc. At what point will the Leafs front office practice the "spend money to make money" mantra - not just for them and their organization, but also for this great city that has been supporting them for almost 100 years.
Following the trend of "Moneypuck" - how can the Leafs spend more money, to see the highest ROI? The cap is the cap - you can't change that. So where else can they invest in? Well for starters, player development is a huge weakness for the Leafs, and it starts with the draft. As I mentioned in an earlier piece about the Leafs' 'rebuilding rut' they have done a fairly poor job in the draft over the past decade or so.
There seems to be a blatant misunderstanding between the front office's future goals and plans and the aging scouting staff. The first major investment could be an overhaul on the scouting department. Likely this is where Dubas can make the most impact. Bringing in successful strategies that other organizations have incorporated that are more on trend with the new NHL, such as Dallas, LA, Colorado and Chicago, etc.
But drafting smarter isn't the only place the Leafs need to narrow their focus. Player development could be a huge asset with the right program. Bringing in a great player like Kessel, and giving him no support, won't work long term. Sure you'll get a win here and there, but there will be no consistency. There needs to be a focus on developing young players and creating a solid foundation for the team - then if you can bring in players like Kessel to add to the team (rather than be the team) there is a much better chance for consistency and an over all higher win percentage.
But I'm not telling Leaf fans anything they don't already know here - the Leafs have been making these mistakes for years. There hasn't been a quality, competitive team on the ice of the ACC since the 90s. But there is hope for the future - no matter how small - with the investment in Shanahan, Dubas and Metcalf. These three have been open about their planned "culture change," hopefully a winning culture.