There’s nothing like the false hope that comes in the form of an established media personality looking to add a hook to his weekly column and to help promote his network’s ongoing coverage of the Leafs. That’s the cynical look at it. The optimistic look at it is exactly what Elliotte Friedman wrote:
After Thursday, Toronto has five games in 14 days. It would not be a stunner if the Maple Leafs tried to make their move during this time to minimize quarantine on any player coming from the U.S. In the last week, Toronto’s been rumoured to be in on half the league, from Mattias Ekholm to Filip Forsberg to Mikael Granlund to Eric Staal to Marc Staal. We will see what GM Kyle Dubas decides to do.
Yeah, that all seems pretty good, except for Marc Staal. If that was in anyway remotely true I’d be sad.
The Leafs looking to act sooner than later is nothing new, as that has been the preferred approach of Dubas for the past couple of seasons, and factor in the oft mentioned 14 day quarantine period for players crossing the border, the fact that the quarantine period plus deadline date only means seven regular season games for the new acquisition, and the fact that if the Leafs make a trade after their game on Sunday night they’ll have the least amount of games missed by their new acquisition, it makes sense that trade talks are ramping up, and it probably also makes sense that the Leafs have been casting a wide net.
It’s also in that spirit that we’re unveiling an ongoing feature that will continue up to the trade deadline. In the spirit of ripping off both TSN and The Athletic, we give you the TLN Trade Bored. Two lists, one of the players that have been rumoured to the Leafs, and a second looking at the Leafs assets that could be on the way out.
Also up for consideration were Sam Bennett, Jake Virtanen, David Savard, Nick Foligno, and Bobby Ryan. Up for consideration in the future are Jake DeBrusk and Tyler Motte.
It’s probably not a surprise that we flocked to the two biggest name brand targets out there, and while making the money work would be a challenge, I guess our writers who voted on the order feel strongly that Hall and Forsberg are worth the trouble.
Other players like Gusev and Reinhart haven’t had much of a direct connection to the Leafs in the rumour mill, but they were deemed to be bigger contributors than some of the other players available.
|1||1st Round Pick|
|2||2nd Round Pick|
So yeah, we’re thinking the Leafs are going to unload some draft picks in advance of the trade deadline, and considering the fact that the Leafs won’t have a high pick, it isn’t the strongest or deepest draft, and frankly the Leafs should be trying to win now, it makes sense to go this route. Engvall, Kerfoot, and Mikheyev make up some of the most moveable salary on the Leafs roster, and similar to draft picks, prospects seem likely to be currency for the Leafs.
Failing to make our list were William Nylander, Morgan Rielly, Roni Hirvonen, Martin Marincin, and Zach Hyman. No matter how badly sections of Leafs fandom want to get rid of all of the players with the exception of Hirvonen, who just missed the cut for tradeable prospects.
We’ll keep updating our boards heading up to the trade deadline, and despite the fact that all signs are pointing to a quiet trade market, that might not be the case for the Leafs.