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Maple Leafs Refused to Trade First-Round Pick for Rental Defenseman

The Toronto Maple Leafs were in on a couple of rental defensemen but weren’t willing to give up a first for a rental.

As per Elliotte Friedman of the 32 Thoughts podcast, the Toronto Maple Leafs did kick tires on a number of defensemen before the team pulled the trigger on a trade to add defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin from the Arizona Coyotes. None of those trades materialized because the Leafs weren’t going to give up their 1st or any of their top prospects for a rental.

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Friedman mentions Matthew Knies was asked about from another team’s perspective but the Leafs weren’t going there. It wasn’t clear if that ask came from Dallas, but there is talk that the Leafs asked about John Klingberg but the acquisition cost was too high and they already have enough defensemen on the roster like him. There were also rumors that the Maple Leafs showed interest in Ben Chiarot, but clearly, that didn’t materialize either.

Kyle Dubas Ben Chiarot John Klingberg

Friedman also noted that he wouldn’t be shocked if the Maple Leafs aren’t done tinkering and Kyle Dubas said you never know as every day is a new day. The expectation might be that the Leafs would look at moving Justin Holl or Travis Dermott, freeing up some cap space and trying to make other smaller moves before March 21.

Dubas said he had a few options to move Nick Ritchie but many of those options including retaining salary and such, something the team didn’t want to do. The move to add Lyubushkin was made because it didn’t require the Maple Leafs to give up too much. Dubas said it was a deal that worked out for both sides and it is expected these smaller types of deals will be the ones the organization looks at as the NHL trade deadline approaches.

Friedman said that he figures the Leafs will evaluate the defensemen they still have over the next couple of weeks.

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  1. afp1961

    February 21, 2022 at 12:26 pm

    Clearly 1-7 the leafs defense is not good enough for the rigors of a hotly contested playoff run. Even with the Russian Bear who is likely destined to be the RHD3. If they measure themselves against Tampa Bay and Florida first, they come up short on the balance sheet. Ditto for Colorado (assuming the leafs get out of the east). So if they are going all in, as they should because yrs on the Matthews deals are dwindling away, than more moves are needed.

    If it is not a rental RHD2 than one with term like Mayfield or Chychrun is a focus. If that requires a 1st,plus Dermott/Holl, and prospect(s) not named Knies than the leafs must act.

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