Connect with us

Toronto Maple Leafs

Maple Leafs Possible Trade Deadline Target: Ducks’ D-Man Josh Manson?

Toronto Maple Leafs’ fans believe the team needs a physical defenseman to go far in the playoffs. Might the Anaheim Ducks Josh Manson be it?

I’m pretty sure I know what the answer would be if you asked 100 Toronto Maple Leafs’ fans this question: “Do you believe the Maple Leafs need to add a physical defenseman?” The answer would be a resounding yes – maybe 85 percent?

Related: Maple Leafs Believed to Have Interest in Ben Chiarot

Jake Muzzin’s Injury Highlighted a Maple Leafs’ Need

When Jake Muzzin went out recently with a concussion suffered in the 6-3 loss to the New York Rangers, it became obvious to many Maple Leafs’ fans that without Muzzin in the lineup the defensive unit was less physically imposing than it should be. The question many fans started to ask was, can Maple Leafs’ general manager Kyle Dubas land a stud defender in the trade?

Jake Muzzin Jack Campbell Maple Leafs
For the Maple Leafs to do well during the playoffs, both Jake Muzzin and Jack Campbell must play well!

Really, fans don’t seem to be as interested in a skilled defenseman as much as a big, physical one. One name that’s been coming up in rumors is Josh Manson from the Anaheim Ducks. Manson is currently on COVID-19 NHL protocol, but he’s not injured. However, he’s not been very productive this season.

And, perhaps that’s all for the better. He’s a UFA after this season, and his salary is currently $4.1 million. No one will likely line up to pay that much for his services after his current contract is expired. He might be a good rental. Forget that he struggles offensively, so what? The Maple Leafs don’t care that much about his offense – sort of like Zach Bogosian last season. Steady, but little to no offensive upside.

Who Cares if Josh Manson Never Scores a Point?

However, the fact that Manson hasn’t scored a single point in 14 games could matter little to the Maple Leafs. His last assist was against the Buffalo Sabres on December 7. The 30-year-old Manson has had a 37-point season in 2017-18, but he hasn’t reached even 10 points on a season since the 2018-19 season. So far on the 2021-22 season, he has three goals and three assists in 41 games.

Yeah, again, so what? He’s like T.J. Brodie – doesn’t score, plays great!

Manson is 6-foot-3 and 224 pounds. He’s experienced and he’s physical. He blocks shots and he hits. He might be just the kind of a defender that this Maple Leafs’ team could desperately use.

If he were brought in, could he become the kind of addition that would put the team over the top during the playoffs? There’s a chance. The question that remains is whether the organization thinks he’s better than what they have in Justin Holl. Some critics say that Manson and Holl might be the same player, except that Manson is on the other side of the fence where the grass looks greener.

Manson is a big, physical, stay-at-home defenseman who would give the team something they don’t have and could use. He might be just what the doctor ordered to solidify the defense. If he were part of the roster, Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe might play him with one of the young Swedish defensemen – I would think Rasmus Sandin – or could put him with Morgan Rielly or even Muzzin to upgrade the shutdown pairing that Justin Holl was part of.

But, Would the Anaheim Ducks Give Manson Up?

Right now, the Anaheim Ducks are in a playoff spot. However, they’re not that many points above .500. It’s more that they’ve played about seven more games than the Canadian teams in the Pacific Division. I personally don’t think they’ll make the playoffs this season, nor do I think the organization even expected to make the playoffs this season. 

Josh Manson, Anaheim Ducks

If the Ducks fall from the playoff hunt, they’ll likely like to move Manson – for something. If they continue to hold onto a playoff spot, Manson is probably going nowhere. However, if the Ducks are out of the playoffs, Manson might be good target.

He might not even be likely to demand a first-round draft choice from the Maple Leafs headed the other way.

Related: Maple Leafs Quick Hits: Nylander All-Star Snub & Going After Lagesson



  1. gfinale

    January 25, 2022 at 9:51 am

    The 85% would indicate just how obvious it is! When Muzzin was injured the past 2 playoffs, it was obvious how much he’s needed. If skilled in this article means skilled in getting points then no. They need to be skilled at defense and, the Leafs are still seriously soft and need more physicality from their defense…as witnessed when Muzzin is out. It’s pretty obvious and I don’t know why we’ve needed to discuss it for 2-3 years now and still some don’t get it! Dermott has 4 points in 27 games. Brodie, Sandin and Liljegren don’t get many points either. They need better defense, they’ve got forwards that should provide all the offense needed!

    • Old Prof

      January 26, 2022 at 10:00 pm

      You are right that scoring on defense isn’t as key as keeping the puck out of the net – that’s why Brodie is so good.

  2. Ago1961

    January 25, 2022 at 2:34 pm

    No question Manson would be a huge improvement to the leafs D core. Holl cannot even hold his jock strap. I’d play him with Muzzin as a shutdown pair. I way I’m the 3rd pairing. What it would cost is anyones guess but even as a UFA I’d give them Dermott and Kerfoot full stop.

    Still would go out and get another RHD6-7. Someone like Pysyk or Schenn would be fine as they will need depth come the playoffs and not want to roll out the rookies every game.

    • Old Prof

      January 26, 2022 at 10:01 pm

      Needs to be in the budget!

  3. Pingback: Maple Leafs' Fans: Get Ready for Entirely New Forward Combinations

  4. Pingback: Get Ready for Entirely New Forward Combinations – Hockey 1 on 1

  5. Pingback: Insider Confirms Maple Leafs' Interest in Josh Manson from Ducks

  6. Pingback: Insider Confirms Maple Leafs’ Interest in Josh Manson from Ducks – Hockey 1 on 1

Leave a Reply

More News