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Maple Leafs Search Ongoing, Pushback on Blue Line Trade Target

The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to search for trade deadline help on their blue line, but there is pushback to one potential fit.

The Toronto Maple Leafs find themselves grappling with a defensive crisis. A series of injuries have plagued their blue line and finding replacements has become quite challenging. Conor Timmins, Timothy Liljegren, and Mark Giordano have all been sidelined, prompting the Leafs to bring in Ilya Lyubushkin. Unfortunately, even Lyubushkin didn’t escape the injury bug, getting hurt in his debut game. Now, the NHL trade deadline is days away. For Toronto, it’s all about finding depth in the hopes they can withstand any additional setbacks.

According to Elliotte Friedman, the Maple Leafs have scoured the league for defensive reinforcements, considering a long list of potential candidates. Matt Dumba, Joel Edmundson, Mario Ferraro, Noah Hanifin, Nick Jensen, David Savard, Nick Seeler, Chris Tanev, Sean Walker, and Nikita Zadorov were among the targets. Hanifin seems destined for Tampa Bay. Tanev went to the Dallas Stars and Zadorov to the Vancouver Canucks. Seeler and Walker aren’t likely to leave Philly without a first-round pick coming back. The Canadiens are in no rush to trade Savard.

Now, even Matt Dumba might be out of the mix. Friedman says there has been pushback on that idea from multiple sources. Luke Fox reported that Dumba confirmed the Maple Leafs were one of several teams that expressed interest in him during free agency. “That he already owned an investment home in Arizona played into his decision to sign with the Coyotes.”

Is Their Blue Line Help Out There for the Maple Leafs?

Searching for a more permanent solution, the Maple Leafs face the challenge of steep asking prices on possible trade fits. The defensive woes have forced the team to explore various options in their quest for stability. The problem is, that time is running out and the options are dwindling.

Brad Treliving, GM of the Maple Leafs is running out of time to make blue line trades

To make matters more interesting, the Maple Leafs have also examined the possibility of adding depth in the form of a forward/center. The team acknowledges the gaps in their lineup, but there’s only so much they can do.

Recently, the team demoted Nick Robertson. But, his temporary demotion to the AHL was explained as a roster maneuver, with assurances that he would return soon.

The Maple Leafs have managed to maintain a solid win/loss record this season, but no one seems too comfortable that this team is a finished product. It remains to be seen if Treliving can do anything about that given how tied his hands are. They continue their search for blue-line help. They aren’t the only ones, making things even more difficult.

Next: Oilers No Longer Frontrunners for Huge Trade Deadline Rental

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