Would you trade Jake Gardiner for Matt Duchene? I ask because Duchene’s name has popped up in the headlines several times over the past week or so as a potential big-name trade chip. Seeing that the Toronto Maple Leafs are rebuilding, they would seem like the kind of club looking to bring in as much young talent as possible. More than a few people have drawn that connection.
You have to think that Gardiner would be the most likely candidate to go the other way in any transaction surrounding Duchene, as Colorado is known to be seeking blueline help (preferably young and with term), but what concerns me the most is the additional assets it would require to close the deal. Gardiner alone won’t do it, so how far are you willing to go? Rumour has it that TLN’s Ryan Fancey will be discussing this more in-depth tomorrow, so be sure to stop by again.
Regardless of what side you sit on, pro-Duchene or anti-Duchene, it’ll certainly be interesting to watch him tonight. It’s a fun coincidence that he’s in Toronto shortly after these rumours have begun to circulate, and it’s a sad coincidence that he’ll probably blow by Gardiner a few times tonight and bury two or three goals. Because, you know… Toronto Sports.
Nick Spaling is out with an injury, so Brad Boyes will draw into the lineup in his place. Still no sign of Frank Corrado, who may never play another hockey game ever again.
Gabriel Landeskog will be serving the second game of his two-game suspension this evening for his illegal hit on Boston’s Brad Marchand last Thursday, so that’s a bit of a bonus for the Leafs. Still, this team has plenty of offensive pop with the likes of Nathan Mackinnon, Duchene and Tyson Barrie still in the lineup.
This is going to be weird to type – both teams will be going with their indubitable starting goaltenders… James Reimer and Reto Berra.
Reimer, as you probably already know, has stringed together a number of excellent starts in recent weeks and has wrestled the number one job from a struggling Jonathan Bernier. Berra, somehow, leads the league in save percentage (.953) and goals-against average (1.50). Looks like we’re in for a very untraditional goalie battle.
What to Watch For…
- Former Leafs legend Francois Beauchemin, who was traded from Toronto to the Anaheim Ducks for Joffrey Lupul and Gardiner. Say what you will about Lupul’s injury issues, but that trade is still amazing.
- Patrick Roy behind the bench. Always a treat.