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Is T.J. Brodie Moved as Maple Leafs Reshape Their Blue Line?

As Brad Treliving tries to reshape the Maple Leafs’ blue line, how much is T.J. Brodie in play as part of a potential trade?

TJ Brodie is arguably the Maple Leafs’ best defensive defenseman, so why is there talk of trading him this season? In the final year of his contract, T.J. Brodie’s $5 million cap hit is creating intrigue in Toronto, a team where cap space is tight, and where the player has a bit of a history with the new general manager.

Speculation of a potential trade is twofold. First, as the Maple Leafs try to win but also ensure they don’t lose players without a prosperous return, Brodie falls into the category of someone to watch because he’s a pending unrestricted free agent after the season. Second, speculation stems from Brodie’s arrival in Toronto after Flames GM Brad Treliving allowed the skilled defenseman to leave Calgary for free agency.

While Treliving typically favors larger, more physical defensemen, that’s not exactly Brodie’s style. Luke Fox of Sportsnet writes, “Treliving prefers his bluelines big and bullish, yet Brodie is the best pure defender on Toronto’s back end.” He’s got a lot of what teams want, maybe just not what Treliving wants.

Still, while Fox has heard trade whispers among Leafs Nation, the scribe notes, “I’d argue that the Leafs need more Brodie, not less.” In fact, Brodie’s defensive prowess sets him apart as one of Toronto’s top defenders.

TJ Brodie Maple Leafs trade rumors
TJ Brodie Maple Leafs trade rumors

Can Brodie Prove His Worth This Season for the Maple Leafs?

Fox notes that injuries became a challenge during the 2023 playoffs and made people question Brodie’s reputation as “Mr. Consistency.” Meanwhile, the Leafs’ defense remains a work in progress and Treliving is likely just looking for opportunities to make moves as one of the most active GMs in the NHL. If Treliving makes changes to the defensive lineup before the trade deadline, Brodie among them?

It’s unclear how closely the Leafs might be looking at Brodie as part of any potential trade, but he’s going to have some time to show the team why trading him would be a mistake. Fox wonders if Treliving would trade Brodie back to Calgary if someone like Noah Hanifin, Nikita Zadorov, or Chris Tanev became a realistic option.

Next: Matthew Tkachuk Confirms 3 Final Teams Prior to Panthers Trade

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