It’s trade rumour season, and since we’re most certainly not above going into all out speculation mode, we’re going to do a lot of talking about potential Leafs trades in the next six weeks. This morning Bob McKenzie of TSN dropped some speculation of his own about how Toronto could approach the deadline, and somewhat surprisingly, he sees both Andreas Johnsson and Kasperi Kapanen, two of the team’s ascending young wingers this season, as the potential foundation of a trade.
From TSN.ca today:
TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie confirmed Wednesday that the Leafs’ first-round pick this year is in play ahead of the trade deadline, but suggested one or even two forwards could be moved for the right addition to the blueline.
“If you’re gonna get a good defenceman and they obviously want to get a good defenceman, you’ve got to give up something of value,” McKenzie told First Up on TSN Radio 1050 Toronto. “And not only would the first-round pick be in play, but I’ve been saying for quite some time now – take your pick, but one of Andreas Johnsson or Kasperi Kapanen will be gone too in the most likely scenario. It obviously depends on which defenceman they end up with and how much term is left, and what the guy’s age is, and what his value is, but it’s quite conceivable that both of those pieces could be departing for the right guy.”
I mentioned this is a little surprising because if there’s any substance to this talk, it suggests the Leafs are looking at swinging big for a defenceman before the deadline. To unload Kapanen and/or Johnsson, potentially together, along with the team’s first-rounder being in play… well, we’re talking about Parayko or Pietrangelo territory, not a minor move. Now, I’d be absolutely floored if both of these guys were moved out, but the Leafs do have decisions to make on the two as they each hit RFA this summer.
We haven’t seen much from the usual insiders about the Leafs in the last few months, and as McKenzie will surely remind everyone, this is at least partially just radio spit-balling. But it’s definitely an interesting tidbit to break the relative silence on this team rumour-wise, and hopefully this type of talk ramps up ten-fold in the coming weeks.