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Maple Leafs Still On Lookout for Third Line Center [Report]

While the Toronto Maple Leafs are likely done making moves this offseason, one scribe notes they are still looking for a third-line center.

We’ve reported in the past that the Toronto Maple Leafs are pretty much done making moves for the offseason. Such is still probably the case, but apparently, Toronto Sun writer Steve Simmons thinks the Leafs might not be completely happy with the way their roster is constructed. While he didn’t mention a trade is in the works, Simmons notes that the Leafs might still be on the lookout for a third-line center.

Related: Maple Leafs’ Prospect Rodion Amirov News: KHL Extension, WJC, More

Simmons recently wrote that if the Maple Leafs keep their roster as is, they have Joe Thornton and Alex Kerfoot as options for that role. He adds that neither is an ideal choice.

First, he notes there are questions about Thornton’s age and ability to keep up with the pace of play over the course of a full regular season — or whatever the 2021 condensed schedule might look like. Second, he says that Kerfoot is probably not the guy you want taking that middle pivot slot.

Simmons writes:

Thornton can’t play 200-foot hockey anymore and can’t be counted on to play in the defensive zone. Kerfoot is a better winger than he is a centre. The combination of the two will test Keefe’s ability to manage in-games throughout the season.

Kyle Dubas Maple Leafs 2

What Does This Mean For Kyle Dubas?

Honestly, if Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas sees the same issues with his lineup that Simmons does, it’s not clear how exactly he will fix things. The Leafs aren’t rolling in additional cap space so simply adding a third-line center via free agency is not really an option.

At this point, the Leafs roster probably is what it is and Dubas will have to keep his eyes on the market as the season rolls along. Sheldon Keefe will be tested on his ability to deploy his forwards in the right situations and if Thornton or Kerfoot don’t pan out, perhaps Dubas can look at making a trade closer to the deadline.

At the end of the day, no GM probably thinks their lineup is perfect and every roster has minor holes in it. This would be the case even in a non-flat cap NHL. The Leafs, specifically Dubas should be given props for what he’s done so far this offseason. His plan to add veteran forwards on cheap contracts might not work out, but if it doesn’t it won’t be for a lack of trying to take a different approach and plug holes as best he could.

Next: Dubas and Maple Leafs Possible Interest in Zdeno Chara



  1. Brian L

    November 23, 2020 at 11:53 am

    I would t take anything g Simmonds says seriously


    November 24, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    Simmonds Said this? Yeah no thanks.

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