Report: Leafs "in play" for Landeskog, Duchene?

Jeff Veillette
February 16 2017 04:10PM

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Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY SPORTS

As we get closer to the trade deadline, you're going to see a lot more trade speculation hit the airwaves and social media waves. Today, we got a taste of that, when the Toronto Maple Leafs were linked to the potential upcoming firesale of the Colorado Avalanche.

The report comes from Adrian Dater of the Bleacher Report. Dater has been a constant voice in the Avalanche scene for many years, though his reputation on stories like this is up and down. He's had his scoops, but in recent years, hasn't been first to the party on a real blockbuster.

Getting one of Gabriel Landeskog or Matt Duchene would be fun, as far as acquisitions go. Duchene is lightning quick and can play both Centre and Left Wing, while Landeskog adds a mean streak to any top six while still putting up 55-60 points. Both are considered to be leaders, though on a free-falling Colorado roster, it's hard to know how much stock is worth putting into that either.

With that said, if Colorado is moving away from mid-20's core pieces, you have to imagine that the cost won't be cheap. Both players are young enough to still be useful to the next wave of a rebuild (think a heightened scale of Nazem Kadri and James Van Riemsdyk), so they won't be gotten rid of solely for the sake of tanking. That doesn't seem to be a situation that this Leafs management group would feel the need to interject themselves into too aggressively; paying an asset premium for players with term attached to them seems counter-intuitive to the process as it stands right now.

If I had any guess as to what to make of this rumour, I'd almost assuredly consider it posturing. There's been a lot of speculation that has tied Colorado to the Montreal Canadiens, particularly on the Duchene front, so it's entirely possible that a team source is routeing this through the content stream to force Michel Bergevin's hand and make him more antsy to make a decision. Toronto is the biggest media market in Montreal's division and the Leafs are a team that still has a chance to leapfrog them in the standings, so I'd look beyond this sentence and into the paragraphs that are already connected elsewhere.

Though, again, I won't say no to a cheap Duchene or Landeskog. I just can't see Toronto getting them. Unless...

Eh. Still not getting hopes up.

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Managing Editor of Hockey Content at the Nation Network. Just here so I'll get the opposite of fined. If you'd like to collaborate or simply have a question, email me at jeff@veillette.me