At this point, it’s pretty clear the Toronto Maple Leafs will be buyers at this year’s NHL Trade Deadline. That said, the question about what they might be looking for, how much they can spend and what will best add to a very confident roster is front and center for Leafs Nation.
A team already loaded with skill, the Toronto Sun’s Michael Traikos feels the Maple Leafs will look to add grit and sandpaper to their roster sooner than later. He believes it’s best not to wait too long and to get the player over, through any potential quarantine issues and working with the team well before the deadline. He doesn’t believe the Leafs are targeting a player like Buffalo’s Taylor Hall, but notes:
“It needs more blue-collar players like (Zach) Bogosian and (Wayne) Simmonds. Guys like Nashville defenceman Mattias Ekholm and Calgary forward Sam Bennett. It needs guys that can push back against Boston and Tampa and Vegas. Guys that can help the Leaf go the distance.”
How Can the Leafs Pull Off a Deal?
Once Toronto keys in on a trade target, the question will be how they make a deal work financially. GM Kyle Dubas has only $130K to work with and, unless the Leafs sweeten the pot, teams won’t line up to retain salary on players that might get better returns with other teams.
At the same time, Dubas is probably not going to be keen on removing substantial pieces from the roster in order to make a deal work. Disrupting team chemistry can be almost as detrimental as the positives that could come from adding the right piece.
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