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Maple Leafs’ trade interest might not be solely focused on defencemen
By Shane Seney2 months ago
Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving has been busy working the phones but it turns out adding defensemen may not be his only priorities on the trade market.
Treliving has been very transparent with his intentions of adding at least one defenseman at some point this season as he recently admitted this was an area of concern the minute he accepted the position as GM. And while the Leafs could certainly use some more depth on their blue line, turns out the next deal Treliving makes could upgrade up front.
There’s been rising speculation that the Maple Leafs are in the market to add another centre. Max Domi has been filling in on the third line and for the most part has played pretty well. Domi has won 55% of his faceoffs (numbers in article are prior to Leafs playing on December 9th), however it’s his offensive production that has been rather inconsistent. He also doesn’t scream shut-down centre with his style of play and Toronto’s third line at the moment is more offensive driven than defensively focused.
David Kampf has had a horrible season so far, and recently was named by Nick Alberga on Leafs Morning Take as a potential trade chip. You’ll remember last summer one of Treliving’s first moves was handing Kampf a four-year contract extension at $2.4 million per season. It was a $900,000 raise for the 28-year-old who registered 27 points in 82 games in 2022-23 and so far this season, he has recorded five points in 23 games. (Editor’s note: of course Kampf scores last night but 6 points in 24 games doesn’t change Shane’s point.)
Pontus Holmberg was given a seven-game look earlier this season and didn’t play up to his capabilities. Head coach Sheldon Keefe has been a fan in the past, but it seems like Treliving would like to add someone with more NHL experience under his belt. There’s also been recent speculation from Luke Fox of Sportsnet. Fox reported the Leafs trade talks are active and not necessarily just focused on the blue line:
Reading between the lines of comments made by coach Sheldon Keefe and GM Brad Treliving this week, Toronto would also like to upgrade its centre depth. Max Domi has filled in admirably as a third-line pivot, but his trust defensively is iffy. Sense is, the Leafs would prefer a pure pivot and keep Domi as a middle-six utility player.
Domi’s versatility is what makes him so valuable. He can essentially fill in at all three forward positions and is capable of moving into the top-six on a temporary basis and is well suited for a third line of a contending team. The only thing is, if Domi moves to the wing and a new centre arrives, what does that mean for Nick Robertson? There is a possible that Robertson could be moved for a defenseman at some point this season.
As for Kampf, good luck to Treliving, who will have a hard time finding a suitor and could have to package the defensive centre with a mid-level prospect or draft pick if he’s going to get some bites. The Leafs GM tied his own hands with this one as he did with Ryan Reaves and his contract. Let’s just say Leafs fans would likely rather have Sam Lafferty than both Reaves and Kampf.
The NHL’s holiday roster freeze is from Dec.20-27. Keep an eye on the Maple Leafs these next 10 days or so as trade talks continue to heat up. While most of the attention has been on upgrading the blue line, it turns out Treliving may not be finished tweaking his bottom two lines.
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