Welcome to Speculatember. All speculation, all the time. Okay, that will be a little much and get old quick, but in reality there is going to be a lot of noise around the Leafs over the next month, given that the Kapanen trade has already happened.
To kick things off, TSN has unveiled their Trade Bait Board, and of the 20 names on it, two are Leafs.
17. Andreas Johnsson
This really does come as much of a surprise, as the Leafs have capable wingers willing to work for cheap in the form of Robertson, Barabanov, and Korshkov. Replacing Johnsson and Kapanen with cheap entry level deal players that at the very least will be able to cover off the underwhelming 2019-20 seasons of Kapanen and Johnsson and at best match their 2018-19 career best years, seems like a no brainer.
Johnsson probably isn’t going to land the Leafs a mid-1st round pick, but there’s a good chance that he could be part of a worthwhile package for an area of need for the Leafs.
19. Frederik Andersen
I really feels like we’re past the point of no return with Andersen returning to the Leafs. There is some established interest in him around the league, there hasn’t been anything as far as reassurances from the Leafs to Andersen that they want to get him re-signed, and playing next season knowing that he’s unlikely to be a Leaf after that.
Andersen seems to have some good value around the league and the Leafs may have some replacement options to chase after in free agency if they move on. The pipe dream of picking up another 1st for Andersen seems like the dream.
Targets for the Leafs
As for some players of interest for the Leafs, well, there’s no shortage of those either…
Josh Anderson– Anderson has been a trade proposal favourite of Leafs fans for a while. He has the proper mix of being an analytics darling and being a physical player. He’s something for everyone.
Jared McCann- A former Soo Greyhound who can be a decent and affordable center option for the Leafs on either their 3rd or 4th line, the appeal of McCann is definitely there, but raises the issue of how come he didn’t find his way into the earlier Leafs/Penguins deal?
Dougie Hamilton- I have no idea why Hamilton is on this list. There doesn’t seem to be a good reason or even a bad reason for why Carolina would move on from Dougie Hamilton, but there he is and as per off season tradition, I guess Leafs fans will have to hold out some hope that Hamilton could possibly become a Leaf.
Of course there isn’t any other shortage of interesting names. Kris Letang certainly fits the bill of a top pairing RHD that the Leafs need, but I’m sure we’ll see this list evolve and we’ll need to pace ourselves through a wild Speculatember.