Matt Dumba won’t be a Maple Leaf and Seattle defencemen are likely off limits according to Elliotte Friedman

Photo credit:David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Jon Steitzer
1 month ago
It’s trade deadline week and Elliotte Friedman just dumped a treasure trove of insider information into his latest 32 Thoughts column, including a number of thoughts that are quite relevant to the Maple Leafs. While it doesn’t take much for things to change, here’s a good primer of information to start off what should be an eventful week:
Name a defenceman, they’ve looked at him: the Seattle guys, Dumba (unlikely), Edmundson, Ferraro, Hanifin, Jensen, Savard, Seeler, Tanev, Walker, Zadorov, etc., etc. They’d like a more permanent, long-term solution, but that’s a big price if even available.
I thought about Matt Dumba and Toronto, since the Maple Leafs gave him a look before committing to John Klingberg, but there was pushback on that idea. Dumba likes big stages, though. There’s at least one team that took a run at Nick Schmaltz last year. Who knows how the arena situation will play out, but the Coyotes need to be aware of who might be unhappy with the uncertainty, and how that affects what to do.
If there ever was a “here’s a guy” trade deadline, this seems to be it for the Maple Leafs. Absolutely every defenceman seems to be garnering some attention from them and it seems odd that Matt Dumba is the least likely target. This could just be an optics thing for Treliving as he doesn’t want to give up an asset on someone he should have been able to sign this summer.
Some of the targets like Savard (wants to stay in Montreal), Walker and Seeler (won’t leave Philadelphia unless someone pays a ransom), and Hanifin (expensive with little chance of re-signing) also seem off the board to the Leafs and as such players like Edmundson and Ferraro seem like the players to keep the closest eye on, even if they are left shots.
There is no one more careful than Ron Francis. The most coveted Kraken is Adam Larsson, but I’d be shocked to see that. In general, Francis has indicated he likes his blue line and doesn’t wish to tinker with its backbone: Larsson, Will Borgen, Vince Dunn and Jamie Oleksiak. I don’t sense any real interest to part with playoff superstar Yanni Gourde, either.
A lot of the TLN writers have a strong interest in Adam Larsson, others of us have liked Will Borgen a lot. It seems like we are all shit out of luck when it comes to seeing the Leafs and Kraken hook up on a deal, and Yanni Gourde is also another unfortunate name to see come off the board for anyone who sees the value in the Leafs adding a middle six centre.
It seems understandable from the Kraken perspective; they are a bubble team with a good backbone and with the opportunity to unload Eberle and Wennberg and retool in the summer they aren’t a team that needs to blow anything up. I wouldn’t doubt the Leafs will at least kick tires on the other Tanev though, who Friedman hinted at being available for the right price.
Also regarding the Leafs…
They have also looked at a depth forward/centre. When Nick Robertson was sent down, he was told it was purely for roster reasons and he’d be back, a rationale he accepted in the short term.
I’m convinced that Nick Robertson will be back in the NHL by the end of the week but I’m not entirely certain it will be with the Maple Leafs. It wouldn’t be a bad thing if he was but if Nick is having a hard time cracking the roster now, it should be even harder by Friday. It seems that Treliving is being very careful around his assets that require waivers like Noah Gregor, William Lagesson, and Martin Jones. At this point all three seem like they would be claimed and despite the fact that the Leafs will likely need the cap space of a few demotions later this week, Pontus Holmberg and Matthew Knies can also be on paper demotions to get things done. I’d just assume that Treliving would prefer to avoid game days for those.
As for Robertson, he’ll either be affordable secondary scoring for the Leafs down the stretch or an asset that helps the Leafs add a decent player with term. Both outcomes seem acceptable depending on who the player with term is.
Wait… did I completely ignore the Leafs looking at a depth forward/centre?
Here’s the thing with that. Bobby McMann and Pontus Holmberg have already beefed up the Leafs depth nicely, and I’m certain that Alex Steeves would be a better option than 90% of “depth” players available too. What I wonder is if depth means bottom six in Friedman speak and in that case the Leafs being involved makes a lot of sense especially when Tavares, Domi, and Kampf have left a lot to be desired as centres this season.
Toronto is keeping Martin Jones off waivers because of the Flyers.
There is something to be said for teams familiar with Martin Jones, and if San Jose is dealing a goaltender, the Flyers being down a goaltender, and the Kings needing goaltending help as well, the Leafs would never get Martin Jones through waivers.
That being said, the Leafs don’t need to hang onto him because if there comes a point where Toronto needs to rely on Martin Jones going into net on a regular basis for them, things are likely already sunk. The Leafs are in a situation where they can give Jones a chance to play, pick up a late pick, and potentially reward Dennis Hildeby down the stretch for having a great season with the Marlies. Personally, I’d be shocked if Jones is a Leaf on the weekend.
San Jose Sharks… There’s been talk about players with more term (Mario Ferraro and Mikael Granlund), but that’s a costlier price.
Elliotte Friedman isn’t specifically linking these two players to Toronto, but the Leafs have explored the idea of Ferraro this year and they have explored the idea of Granlund every other year. If Toronto is going to give up their first round pick, the Sharks have two players with term that meet the needs of the Leafs *defence, and “depth” centre) available and acquiring them in a package might serve both the Leafs and the Sharks well. I’m not going to be so bold to predict that the Leafs and Sharks make a deal, but given how familiar Brad Treliving is with the Pacific division, I’d definitely put San Jose at the top of my list for teams to watch.

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