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Maple Leafs Not Adding Big Rental On Defense, Other Options Revealed

As per Elliotte Friedman, it doesn’t sound like the Toronto Maple Leafs are contemplating trading assets for a big-name blue line rental.

As per Elliotte Friedman and his latest 32 Thoughts column, don’t expect the Toronto Maple Leafs to go chasing after a big-name rental on defense. While the team might add a depth blueliner and try to ease the pressure off of some of their younger, less experienced guys, it’s not expected the franchise will spend assets to acquire one of the more notable names.

Related: Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs 6-2 Win Over the Kraken

The Leafs had been rumored to be looking at multiple options. The franchise was connected to names like Ben Chiarot, John Klingberg and even Jakob Chychrun, with GM Kyle Dubas saying he’d be more interested in adding players with term, and a lot of it. But, it sounds like Dubas has ruled out expensive short-term options completely as Friedman writes, “I’m not convinced yet Toronto does a big rental on defence. Maybe the best depth defender they can find for what they need.”

Kyle Dubas Sheldon Keefe Toronto Maple Leafs

He adds that salary cap flexibility is still a major concern. He notes:

When it comes to Toronto, I still think the question is if they can clear cap room. They’re trying to move Nick Ritchie, since there’s no path back to the NHL for him barring injury or until the cap disappears in the playoffs. There is interest, but a buyout next season is only $300,000 against the cap so the Maple Leafs are pointing out retaining anything more than that doesn’t make sense for them. Remember: they also made Justin Holl and Travis Dermott available early in the season. Can they create any flexibility?

Maple Leafs Limited By Available Money

Like many other teams, Toronto doesn’t have a lot of room to add pieces unless the move money first. With Ritchie in the AHL, they did clear some space, but not enough to necessarily add a significant name with a hefty salary. And, as much as three-team deals are possible, they aren’t easy to make work. If the Leafs aren’t looking to spend big to get the assets they need, there may not be a lot they can do.

A name like Luke Schenn might make more sense. He also has some familiarity with the organization. Could Anton Stralman, Justin Braun, Colin Miller or Andy Greene be an option? Luke Fox of Sportsnet seems to think so. And, if that’s the plan, is that enough? In a conference where the Leafs have some fierce competition, it might not be.

Next: Chiarot Almost Part of Toffoli Trade, Could Be Moved Next 7-10 Days



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