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Does Garland for Engvall Make Sense for the Maple Leafs?

The Toronto Maple Leafs need a viable winger for their second line. Does a Conor Garland for Pierre Engvall trade make sense?

The Vancouver Canucks have a forward who would look good on the Toronto Maple Leafs’ roster. That forward is Conor Garland. But would trading with the Canucks to get him make sense? That depends upon what you want to give up if you are the Maple Leafs.

In this post, I want to make a point that moving Pierre Engvall to bring in Garland doesn’t make sense.


Garland Is Fiesty, and Wouldn’t That Be Nice with Michael Bunting?

Garland has a ton of skills and qualities as a player. Perhaps most intriguing is that he’s a feisty player with a strong offensive upside and versatility. His work ethic and determination are attributes that make him a valuable asset to any team – and that includes the Maple Leafs.

With Michael Bunting patrolling the wing on the team’s first line, how good would it be to have Garland on the team’s second line with John Tavares and William Nylander?

Conor Garland Canucks

There are currently some rumors floating around about what forward the Maple Leafs might seek at the trade deadline to fill the hole in the team’s second line. Garland is on that list. Although he’s not as high up as a player such as Timo Meier, maybe he should be.

There’s So Much to Be Worked Out If a Player Like Garland Comes to the Maple Leafs

So, what about the possibility of bringing Garland onto the Maple Leafs’ roster? These are only rumors and speculations at this point. However, as with any trade and subsequent roster move, the decision to bring a player on board will depend on a variety of factors. These include the team’s overall strategy, salary cap situation, and the player’s fit within the team dynamic.

Garland would be a difficult player to bring in because of his salary-cap hit. While it’s hard to argue that he’s overpaid, he has a salary-cap hit of $4.95 million a season until the end of 2025-26 when he becomes a UFA.

The term is good, and he might become attractive in the long run. But, for now, moving the 26-year-old onto the Maple Leafs roster without significant assets moving away would be tough.

Related: Maple Leafs Future Will Determine Dubas’ Deadline Deals

Comparing Conor Garland to Pierre Engvall

Recently, one Maple Leafs’ writer suggested that the team move out both Alex Kerfoot and Pierre Engvall to bring in Garland. Although I like Garland, I’m not even sure that he’s that much of an upgrade on Engvall alone. Comparing the two head-to-head, they look like this:

Conor Garland (26 Years Old)

SeasonTeamGames PlayedGoalsAssistsPoints

Pierre Engvall (26 Years Old)

SeasonTeamGames PlayedGoalsAssistsPoints
2021-22Maple Leafs78152035
2022-23Maple Leafs5010825

The Tipping Point on Garland vs. Engvall Is Money

The tipping point here is money. As noted, Garland makes $4.95 million. Engvall makes $2.25 million. I acknowledge Garland’s skill set and the energy he could bring to the team. However, the difference money makes too big a difference to the salary cap.

Engvall and Garland are two different players and a trade involving both of them might not make sense based solely on the idea of Garland being an “upgrade.” However, any trade decision comes down to a variety of factors, including the players involved, the salaries, the salary cap hit, and the team’s overall needs and strategy.

The potential cost of acquiring Garland includes much salary cap maneuvering. It also includes the potential need to give up other assets such as draft picks or players to make the trade fit under the cap. These are all important considerations for a trade, and Maple Leafs’ management must weigh all these factors carefully before making a decision.

Getting Garland and Losing Engvall Doesn’t Make Sense

In the end, any trade would depend on the specific needs and preferences of both teams. Even if the team is interested in bringing in Garland, the Maple Leafs will need to determine if his acquisition makes sense in every way. And, to do so they must take into account all of the factors involved.

In this case, I don’t think it works.

Related: Maple Leafs’ Quick Hits: McMann’s Speed & Liljegren’s IQ



  1. getrdone

    February 9, 2023 at 7:21 am

    Just energy and a bit of nastiness does not make sense to me. For a deep playoff run I believe we need more beef and nastiness, a guy that will wear on the opposing D and forwards. Toronto since Dubas has been manager has focussed on high IQ and a motor that keeps going, but the playoffs are a different animal and we have been continually outgunned when the checking gets really tight. The idea of Simmons sounded good, but age has caught up with him. I believe we need a couple of bigger players that also have a good hockey IQ but that can challenge the opposition with a bit of size and willingness to go into the corners and fight for the puck. That to me is the playoff success formula, you have to outlast the other team and you have to have some size to do that.

    • Old Prof

      February 9, 2023 at 8:10 am

      Thanks for that addition – appreciate your thoughts – I don’t disagree – and Engvall is bigger – could he more physical – yes?

  2. Ssdd

    February 9, 2023 at 8:29 am

    A couple of things Professor. I’m not a mathematician but I do know that 10 + 8 is 18 not 25. Any comparison you make you have to take into consideration their respective roles; who they play with, what situations are they are used in, ice time. That said, is Garland worth a $2 million cap hit?

  3. TMLBlueandWhite

    February 9, 2023 at 9:32 am

    Engvall is the biggest waste of 6’4″ 200+ lbs of solid muscle there is. Gauthier 2.0. The Leafs lack want Garland brings and the whole team appears to need an attitude adjustment. Garland would help accomplish that.

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