We’ve talked at great length about the Toronto Maple Leafs being buyers at this year’s NHL Trade Deadline and the response from readers and fans has been mixed. Some believe the Leafs will add if they can, while others suggest the team will likely stand pat and let the roster that’s gotten them to this point do their thing.
One big factor will be what the cost to acquire a rental will be. And thanks to Toronto Sun scribe Steve Simmons, there’s now a player to discuss and debate for the Leafs, and if the cost to add him would be worth it.
Admittedly, Simmons has a so-so track record with these kinds of reports, but here’s what he noted in a recent column:
Here is where it gets dicey. The Leafs have next to no salary cap room. In order to acquire anyone — the name Nick Foligno keeps popping up — they would have to move other assets and money, certainly Alex Kerfoot for example, maybe one of the young defencemen Rasmus Sandin or Timothy Liljegren, maybe the young sniper Nick Robertson, maybe an early-round draft pick.
Simmons is suggesting that the Leafs target a top six forward and Foligno would certainly qualify. He’s a pending UFA at the end of the season, which would make him a rental, but his price tag of $5.5 million guarantees the Leafs have to send money back, while Columbus likely has to retain some salary in the deal.
Do You Move Young Pieces for a Rental Like Foligno?
With four goals and 11 points in 26 games, Foligno is certainly not a sniper that’s going to come in and deliver huge production. It’s been quite a while since he scored over 25 goals in a season and it was all the way back in 2014-15 when he was anything close to a point-per-game player.
That said, he does offer the kind of grit and sandpaper a team like Toronto might like for a deep playoff run.
The question will be if the Leafs would be willing to move young pieces like Rasmus Sandin or Nick Robertson to complete the deal, assuming it’s even on the table.
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