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Maple Leafs News and Rumors: Spezza, Johnsson, Pietrangelo, Byfuglien

In the latest news surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs, there is talk about Jason Spezza, Alex Pietrangelo, Andreas Johnsson and Dustin Byfuglien.

There are a few news items and rumors surfacing when it comes to the Toronto Maple Leafs today. A veteran forward is looking to stick around, there are two defensemen the team could be interested in, and there is news as to who the team might want to trade.

Jason Spezza Wants to Stay

Veteran forward Jason Spezza told reporters today, including Luke Fox of Sportsnet, that he is absolutely interested in a return to the Maple Leafs next season. The goods news for Toronto is that it sounds like he is willing to take another team-friendly deal.

The Maple Leafs will be look to find less-costly options for their bottom-six and Spezza’s nine goals and 25 points in 58 games would be a good fit if the team can get it done for cheap.

Spezza told reporters on a conference call Tuesday: “I’m in it for as long as I can be so I can win a Stanley Cup. It’s something that I dreamt of as a kid, and I would love nothing more to do it here in Toronto.” He added that he feels like he has game left and that he hopes it works out there. “I feel like we’re building things with this club, and I want to be a part of it,” he said.

Maple Leafs and Pietrangelo Not Likely

There’s buzz the Maple Leafs might have interest in defenseman Alex Pietrangelo if he becomes available and doesn’t re-sign with St. Louis but Fox suggests that’s unlikely. Instead, he figures the Maple Leafs would prefer dealing for players with term left on their contracts and lists Anaheim’s Josh Manson, Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen, and Minnesota’s Matt Dumba as possible trade targets.

Andreas Johnsson the Most Likely Trade Chip

Fox also believes Andreas Johnsson is the player the Leafs are most interested in trading but, there’s a problem. His injury history and poorer production this season could be the reason few teams want him.

Instead, they’d prefer Alex Kerfoot or Kasperi Kapanen and that could make trades tricky. If other teams hold out, with the Maple Leafs cap crunch, they won’t have the leverage they’d like to make the right deal.

Chances of Byfuglien in Toronto?

Admitting that most people seem to think Dustin Byfuglien will never play again in the NHL, Rory Boylen of Sportsnet took a look at the chances that Toronto Maple Leafs might be a team he’d play for if he came back.

Bufyglien could become an ideal candidate for the Toronto Maple Leafs but he would have to accept a huge discount. Boylen writes:

“It wouldn’t be easy but the Leafs are here only because, as a Cup hopeful with at least one obvious flaw, they’ll be as aggressive as they can be to fix that. So, any time a right-shot defenseman of significance becomes available, Toronto should have some degree of interest.

Boylen mentions that if the cap stays flat, it would leave Toronto with less than $5 million of space to start from. That’s reasonable if all they had to do was sign Byfuglien and he wanted to play there. But, as many insiders believe, should he decide he wants to return, as many as 20 NHL teams might be interested.

Related: Taylor Hall Hints He Wants Long-Term Security Over Biggest Paycheck

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Barry Fletcher

    April 22, 2020 at 11:22 am

    Don’t keep saying Leafs have no cap space Barrie Cecci gone Kerfoot traded for draft pick Johnsson traded for pick that’s a saving of over 14 million Pietrangelo 8 mil 5 years Chris Tanev 6 mil 5 years both Ontario boys bring them home Dubas and win the cup

    • Barry Fletcher

      April 22, 2020 at 11:34 am

      Hi again Dustin Byfuglien would be another big horse on defence older though

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