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Maple Leafs Juggling This and Next Season In Any Trades

Pierre LeBrun of TSN agreed that Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas may not be looking at trades that make them contenders for the Stanley Cup this season but improves his team for next season.

During TSN’s Leafs Lunch broadcast, Pierre LeBrun joined Andi Petrillo and Craig Button and discussed speculation that Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas was potentially walking a fine line between trying to win this season and stacking the deck for next season. Some have suggested he’s even “throwing in the towel” as a manner of speaking because he’s not concerned about doing everything he can this season to get the best pieces to compete for a Stanley Cup.

LeBrun agreed that Dubas is working on two things at once. Saying there was speculation last season that Dubas had a trade in the works that would have sent Nazem Kadri to Calgary for T.J. Brodie, he likely wouldn’t do a trade like that this season because Brodie will be up for free agency at the end of this year. Instead, Dubas is looking for a “Muzzin 2.0” type deal.

LeBrun suggested a player like Alec Martinez who has one more season in Los Angeles and if moved, would at least eliminate (in part) Dubas’ need to go out and find another defenseman in the summer because he would have Martinez as part of his corps for next year.

That lends credibility to the idea that Dubas isn’t solely looking at what it will take to win this season because Martinez has struggled a bit this season compared to last and certainly not as well as Brodie. “But at least you get two playoff runs out him [Martinez].” He added, “In other words, a hockey deal is not a rental deal” for Dubas.

So, are the Maple Leafs actually throwing in the towel this season? Some insiders would suggest that’s actually the best plan of action consider they are a long ways from actually being contenders.

Related: Ottawa Senators News & Rumors: Tkachuk, Nilsson, Namestnikov & Player Moves

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