Leafs are still Wild about Minnesota’s defensemen

We’re less than two weeks away from the NHL trade deadline and this horrific charade of posting any and every Leafs related rumour will come to a close. That’s a lie. We’ll be in College Free Agent season, baby!!! Yeah!

See how much worse it could be? Don’t trade rumours seem more palatable in comparison? Good.

Anyway, via TSN’s Countdown to Tradecentre article we can see that the Leafs are still quite active in sniffing around Matt Dumba, but additionally there is some interest in Jonas Brodin, a player that many people would prefer, despite his left shooting ways…

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Michael Russo of The Athletic reports the Toronto Maple Leafs “appear to be the most interested party” in Minnesota Wild defenceman Matt Dumba, though he wonders if the team can put together a package strong enough to entice general manager Bill Guerin to move the 25-year-old.

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported earlier this week that Guerin is willing to listen to offers on Dumba or fellow defenceman Jonas Brodin, but is looking to acquire top-line centre, a No. 2 and more for either player. Russo believes the Leafs could offer Alex Kerfoot up, but would have to package more pieces as well to complete a deal.

Dumba, who’s signed through 2022-23 at a $6 million cap hit, has four goals and 20 points in 57 games this season. He posted a career-high 14 goals and 50 points with the Wild during the 2017-18 season.

According to Russo, the Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vegas Golden Knights, Winnipeg Jets, Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens have all reached out to the Wild regarding either Dumba or Brodin.

The article then goes on to point out that expected cost of Jonas Brodin from a Montreal perspective is Max Domi, and given that Brodin is cost controlled at another season for the bargain price of $4.167M, there isn’t any reason to assume that they are being ridiculous with that ask.

Translating a Brodin trade into a one for one Leafs deal situation, we’re probably looking at moving beyond the Kapanen, Kerfoot, Johnsson trio of options and we need to start talking Nylander, which frankly I wouldn’t want to do, and would be more curious about whether Kapanen and the 2021 1st is enough of a starting point, although at some point I’d also like to see the Leafs draft in the first round again.

Long story short, Brodin is a tough one, so let’s double back to Dumba, who many of you are actively punching holes in the wall over the very mention of his name.

The idea of Alex Kerfoot for Matt Dumba is an interesting one, although how much the Leafs need to add when are letting the Wild off the hook for a $6M salary on a player not playing up to it, is open for debate.

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Clearly I am in favour of Dumba (and my reasoning can be found in that link), but there are six million reasons for three years after this one why taking a risk on a struggling defenseman might not be a good idea, and I can certainly respect that as well.

All of these rumours came in advance of Bruce Boudreau fired as the Wild’s head coach, and given that Minnesota is going the interim route for the rest of the season, it seems reasonable to assume that Bill Guerin will remain in selloff mode and dismantle the roster further. That likely means one of Brodin or Dumba being moved, and although that doesn’t necessarily mean to the Leafs, these rumours have persisted and we’ll be talking about them again before the trade deadline is over.