Maple Leafs demote key summer addition Max Domi to 3rd line role

Published October 16, 2023 at 11:21

With all of the nostalgia value attached to Max Domi signing his 1-year deal in Toronto this summer, it was easy to forget how much he has bounced around during his NHL career and how many times he has been slipped down the depth chart in the different cities that he has played in. Nevertheless, the Leafs gave Domi a golden opportunity to play in the top six in Toronto. Unfortunately, it hasn't worked out as planned.

Throughout training camp, Domi was tethered to William Nylander, as the two had developed some pretty solid offensive chemistry early on. However, when the season began for the Leafs on Wednesday, it became clear fairly quickly that for all of their offensive chemistry, they sure weren't playing a whole lot of defense.

After just his 2nd game on the team's 2nd line, with Nylander and Tavares, Domi has officially been moved down to the Maple Leafs' 3rd line, playing on the wing with exciting young rookies Fraser Minten and Matthew Knies. Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe isn't spinning it as a demotion, though. He views it as a good opportunity for Domi to clean up a few areas of his game. The two spoke at length during practice on Sunday, with Keefe telling the media the following at the conclusion of practice:

"My focus with Max is how he manages the puck offensively. If you don't take care of puck offensively you have to defend that much more. We want to do a better job when we lose the puck, but in Max's case it's how he can keep his group on offence more." - Keefe on Domi

At the moment, there doesn't appear to be any major problems between Domi and his coach. Domi had expressed during the offseason that he'll play wherever Keefe wants him and do the job to the best of his ability regardless of his assignment. Let's hope that's still the case.
October 16   |   77 answers
Maple Leafs demote key summer addition Max Domi to 3rd line role

Will Max Domi play out the entire year of his deal in Toronto?

Yes3039 %
No2228.6 %
I'll be surprised if he isn't moved by Christmas2532.5 %
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