The Toronto Maple Leafs were defeated in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That’s a phrase attributable to any of the past six NHL seasons and still holds true in 2022. The Leafs blew a 3-2 series lead against the Tampa Bay Lightning and were defeated 2-1 in Game 7, once again putting an early end to their Stanley Cup dreams. It’s a tough loss for the organization to stomach, for both players and fans alike, but now the team has to shift its focus towards avoiding another embarrassing early exit next year.

While Toronto was an outstanding team during the regular season, there are clearly areas where the team could improve. This offseason could be crucial for the Maple Leafs as they look to achieve their ultimate goal and win the Stanley Cup in 2023. With Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner playing the best hockey of their careers, it’s hard to excuse the team’s disappointing first-round exits year after year.

With that in mind, here are a few big moves the Maple Leafs can make this offseason in order to end the first-round losing streak.

3 offseason targets for Maple Leafs after first-round exit

3. Bryan Rust

There’s a good chance the Penguins won’t be able to retain Bryan Rust this offseason, and he could be an intriguing option for the Maple Leafs to shore up their offense.