The Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to be among the busier teams in the NHL in 2023. Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff says the Leafs have the salary cap flexibility to go out and add something major ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline and he notes that this is a team that has seen successive failures in the playoffs. “Status quo is not an option,” argues Seravalli.
So, who are the Maple Leafs looking at? Well, if you ask different NHL insiders whose job it is to keep a close eye on the team, you’ll get different answers.
For example, The Toronto Star’s Nick Kypreos wondered if GM Kyle Dubas might target Arizona Coyotes’ forward Lawson Crouse or Montreal Canadiens’ winger Josh Anderson. He suggests Crouse would be the player Toronto might like from Arizona, perhaps even more than Jakob Chychrun. Or, Kypreos argues that Anderson fits exactly the style of hockey the Maple Leafs need to play in the postseason and with the Canadiens retooling and having toughness in other areas of their lineup, Anderson isn’t as essential to Montreal as he might be to Toronto. Of course, this is all if the Leafs don’t sign forward Matthew Knies out of college, which they might do before making a major trade.
Meanwhile, Michael Traikos of The Toronto Sun thinks the Leafs might look at bringing back James van Riemsdyk. He says the 33-year-old winger enjoyed the best seasons of his career and said in a recent interview how much he loved playing in Toronto.
As a pending free agent who is in the final year of his contract, he understands that he will probably get moved before the March trade deadline. And while the Leafs probably have more pressing needs at defence, adding a 6-foot-3 power forward who has 13 points in 14 games this season — and plenty of familiarity with Toronto’s top players — might be too good to pass up.
During a recent TSN Insider Trading segment, Darren Dreger argued that the Leafs might go after Ryan O’Reilly, but Dubas is only willing to give up so much to acquire him, particularly, the Leafs aren’t keen on moving Matthew Knies to land the veteran center.
Joshua Kloke and Harman Dayal explained why Bo Horvat might be a good fit and threw a few trade proposals together. First, they offered Timothy Liljegren and Pontus Holmberg, plus a draft pick. If that didn’t work (which they didn’t think it would), they offered Topi Niemela, Joey Anderson, and a second-round pick. Finally, a third option was Matthew Knies and William Villeneuve.
Next: Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs 4-3 Win Over Flyers
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