Toronto Maple Leafs Rumors: Team Becoming More Unlikely To Bring Back Forward

Rumors have been circulating that the Toronto Maple Leafs may not be bringing winger Michael Bunting back next season.

His recent three-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head during a playoff game against the Tampa Bay Lightning has further complicated his future with the team.

Bunting, who has been a gritty and energetic player for the Leafs, received the suspension and will be unavailable for crucial upcoming playoff games.

The team has remained tight-lipped about his future with the team, and the pending unrestricted free agent may have very well played his last regular-season game for the Leafs.

Bunting had initially impressed the team by scoring 23 goals and registering 63 points while playing on the first line with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. However, despite his success, his future with the Leafs remained uncertain due to their cap situation and potential changes in the front office.

Moreover, Bunting's struggles throughout the season, including arguing with officials, taking bad penalties, and embellishing falls, have resulted in referees and the league targeting him.

This behavior has damaged his reputation, and contract talks were extremely quiet all season long, indicating that the Leafs had no intention of committing long-term to him.

The incident that led to Bunting's suspension has sparked debate among fans and analysts about whether his style of play is worth the risk of potential suspensions. The Leafs will need to carefully evaluate his value as a gritty and energetic player against the risks of disciplinary action.

Furthermore, Bunting's pending unrestricted free agent status makes his future with the team uncertain, as the Leafs may opt to pursue other options in the offseason. Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports