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Maple Leafs Adopting Quantity Approach Ahead of Trade Deadline

The Toronto Maple Leafs don’t have trade assets and are hesitant to give up their first-rounder. Thus, they’re trying something different.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are on the hunt for defensive reinforcements as the trade deadline looms, but their limited draft assets pose challenges in negotiations. TSN Hockey Insider Chris Johnston disclosed that the Leafs, lacking a second-round pick in the next three drafts, are hesitant to part ways with their 2024 first-round pick. This has left the organization with little choice but to approach the trade deadline with an intriguing strategy: offering quantity over quality.

Previous reports noted that General Manager Brad Treliving’s prolonged pursuit has centered on Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Tanev, who remains a top target. However, the Leafs have explored other options, including inquiries into the availability of Philadelphia Flyers’ Sean Walker and Nashville Predators’ Alexandre Carrier, both pending unrestricted free agents like Tanev.

Treliving Conroy Tanev Maple Leafs Flames trade

The main stumbling block for the Leafs appears to be their reluctance to part with their first-round pick and the absence of a second-round pick in the next three drafts. Johnston notes, “So, they have been trying to go with volume, offering multiple lower-round draft picks. So far, the teams involved in those discussions have no interest in doing that.”

Will the Maple Leafs Stand Pat or Crater to the Pressure To Add?

Tanev, with one goal and 12 points in 51 games this season, continues to be a prominent name in trade discussions. However, questions about his value as a 34-year-old defenseman, and without any guarantee he’ll stay past this season means moving a first for him is a risk. He carries an expiring cap hit of $4.5 million. He’s likely going to get a raise as teams vie for his services over the summer.

Sean Walker, listed at No. 7 on the Trade Bait board, brings five goals and 19 points in 55 games to the table with a $2.65 million cap hit. He too is a pending UFA with a sizeable raise coming his way.

Alexandre Carrier, sitting at No. 10 on the Trade Bait board, boasts four goals and 15 points in 49 games, carrying the lowest cap hit of the trio at $2.5 million. Also a UFA, he might be the best bargain of the bunch, but he’ll still command a decent pick.

The Maple Leafs, have to determine what they’re willing to part with, while also juggling the salary cap. They currently hold $2.06 million in cap space according to CapFriendly and face a tight financial situation with three weeks remaining until the deadline.

Could the Maple Leafs Switch Gears Completely at the Deadline?

While defensive additions are a top priority, the Maple Leafs have also emerged as a potential destination for goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun revealed that Fleury, after a four-hour meeting with his agent, is committed to the Minnesota Wild’s playoff chances but could explore options if they fall out of contention. The Leafs are said to be interested.

It’s not clear what the market looks like for goalies or the asking price. But, would Toronto be more open to moving a top pick for a top-flight goalie? The 39-year-old goaltender boasts a 10-9-3 record, a .903 save percentage, and a 2.83 goals-against average this season, with an expiring cap hit of $3.5 million.

Next: Flames’ Defenseman Rasmus Andersson Drawing Trade Interest

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  1. Pingback: Maple Leafs Adopting Quantity Approach Ahead of Trade Deadline Its Playoff Hockey Fantasy Hockey News – Its Playoff Hockey

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