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The Toronto Maple Leafs are considering going with a more balanced approach to their lineup this season. According to Jonas Siegel of the Athletic, the line of William Nylander, Auston Matthews, and Mitch Marner may not be together at the beginning of this season. In fact, it is believed that Matthews will not even have another star forward on his line in order to even out the depth chart.

“I wonder though, if the Leafs should experiment with a more balanced approach, the main crux of which would be removing Marner and Nylander from Matthews’ side,” Siegel stated. “I tend to think Matthews could score with just about anyone on his wings, and that he could elevate two lesser talents in the same way Sidney Crosby has players such as Conor Sheary, Chris Kunitz, and Patric Hornqvist.”

Matthews might not be the same style of player as someone like Sidney Crosby or Connor McDavid, but the hope is that he can carry one of the offensive lines with his goal scoring abilities. The 23-year-old had 80 points (47 goals, 33 assists) in 70 games last season with the Maple Leafs.

If Toronto does keep Matthews without another star on his line, Marner would likely go back to playing with Tavares and Nylander could possibly drop down to the third line to be paired up with recently signed veteran, Joe Thornton. Here is what the forward lines could possibly look like when the season starts:

Alex Kerfoot - Auston Matthews - Zach Hyman

Ilya Mikheyev - John Tavares - Mitch Marner

William Nylander - Joe Thornton - Jimmy Vesey

Nic Robertson - Jason Spezza - Wayne Simmonds

NOVEMBER 18, 2020  (16H05)