Potential trade pieces between the Toronto Maple Leafs & St Louis Blues: Seller Profiles

Photo credit:© Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
2 months ago
The St. Louis Blues are next up on our Seller Profiles series. The Blues are a fringe playoff team at the moment and could be looking to sell and re-tool for this season and the years ahead. GM Doug Armstrong has already made a coaching change this season and saw a significant increase in production, perhaps a trade or two ahead of the March 8 deadline could be next up on the list.
As for the Maple Leafs, GM Brad Treliving is trying to turn over just about every rock when it comes to defencemen and depth forwards. It seems like the Leafs GM is uber-focused on upgrading his blueline, and rightfully so. There’s many holes on the Leafs at the moment and if they want to set themselves up for a long Stanley Cup Playoff run this season, there’s some heavy-lifting required. It turns out Treliving has recently been getting a first-hand look at what the Blues have to offer:
The Blues and Leafs play twice over the next two weeks so considering Treliving could have just waited to get an up close look at Blues potential trade pieces, there could be some substance here when considering a deal between the two clubs.

Blues Have Several Options for the Maple Leafs

It’s possible the number one target for Treliving is Blues defenceman Colton Parayko. He’s been linked to Treliving in the past while with Calgary and he checks off a ton of boxes for the Maple Leafs. Parayko plays in all situations, he’s a big body at 6-foot-6, and being right-handed certainly doesn’t hurt. The main thing to consider here is that Parayko holds all the cards for his future. He has a full no-trade clause and must give approval to be moved. To this point the Blues haven’t asked him for a list of teams he’d consider.
The 30-year-old blueliner has been solid in St Louis this season, recording nine goals and 20 points in 51 games, which would rank him first on the Maple Leafs defence in goals and second in total points behind Morgan Reilly. When it comes to hits and blocks, Parayko has registered 63 and 135 respectively, which would rank him third in hits and first in blocks among Leafs defencemen. He leads the Blues defensive corps in minutes played shorthanded and St. Louis ranks sixth in the NHL in penalty kill efficiency. One of the many reasons he’d be a great addition for the Maple Leafs.
Parayko’s set to make $6.5 million average annual value (AAV) through the 2029-30 season, so there’s certainly a bit of risk here for Treliving, but considering the desperate need in Toronto, it’s likely a contract the Leafs GM is open to adding long term; especially considering the likes of TJ Brodie, Mark Giordano and William Lagesson come off the books this summer. Given Parayko’s consistency throughout his career, hovering around the 30-35 point mark, and his ability to shut-down opponents, kill penalties, play second power-play, while also having 82 games of Stanley Cup experience under his belt and a ring, he’s a worthy option for Treliving to pony up for.
There’s also a couple of forwards who could tickle Treliving’s fancy including rugged winger Alexey Toropchenko. The speedy Russian has good size at 6-foot-3 and he’s been known to play a very in-your-face style and be ferocious on the forecheck which Toronto could use more much of. Right now, having Max Domi and Nick Robertson on the third line isn’t ideal as they aren’t defensive-minded players. Toropchenko would help balance things out and give the Leafs a winger more situated for a third-line in the playoffs.
The Blues forward is signed for a very affordable $1.25 million AAV for this season and next, and is eligible for restricted free agency once his current contract expires, giving Treliving some team security to consider. It does sound like Treliving is considering all options at the moment and isn’t laser focused on just pure rentals.
Toropchenko kills penalties which Toronto needs more of from their forwards as they are riding the big guns a lot on the penalty kill and need more depth. Injuries to David Kampf and Calle Jarnkrok don’t help at the moment, however Sheldon Keefe has shown his willingness to include Auston Matthews and William Nylander on the PK. Granted, that’s more so out of need than an ideal setup. While Toropchenko is more so known for his work ethic and willingness to do whatever he can to help his team win, he showed off some unreal hands on this recent beauty goal, so you know there’s more in there to give:
The only thing which could sway Treliving’s interest in the Russian forward is the fact he’s not versatile. Toropchenko can’t fill in at centre and with some lack in production from Kampf, who’s currently hurt and the up-and-down season from Pontus Holmberg, I think Treliving could be more focused on adding some more depth down the middle than on the wings.
The last of the Blues potential trade targets from the Leafs would be Oskar Sundqvist. Not a shiny name at all, I understand, but someone who would be an upgrade over playing Ryan Reaves and Bobby McMann. The 29-year-old comes in cheap at $775,000 and he’s enjoyed a nice season in St Louis, with six goals and 19 points in 51 games. He’s another above-average penalty killer who plays a ton shorthanded for the Blues and can give you some minutes at centre. Sundqvist has won only 41% of his faceoffs, which isn’t anything to write home about, however his versatility could go a long way for Toronto’s depth chart.

Maple Leafs Could Re-Tool With Blues

If and a big IF the Leafs and Blues were to construct a deal centered around Parayko, adding $6.5 million is going to be tough. With St Louis hovering around a playoff spot and with hopes of making the NHL’s second season, this could end up being a deal that is more so re-tooling on the fly than selling the farm.
Would Tyler Bertuzzi interested Armstrong? Bertuzzi hasn’t necessarily hit the ground running after signing a one-year deal to join the Leafs and it will be interesting to see how Treliving manages him before the March 8 trade deadline. The quirky winger has a no-move clause, however heading to St Louis, a potential playoff team could be something he considers. Plus, once the Leafs GM is in advanced talks and has to approach him about waving his protection, people change pretty quickly when they are told they aren’t wanted anymore. Bertuzzi makes $5.5 million against the cap and has recorded seven points in seven career games against the Blues.
Timothy Liljegren is another trade target the Blues may have on their radar. Losing Parayko creates a massive hole on the right-side of their blueline and adding a 24-year-old former first-round pick could help bridge the gap in St Louis and keep them competitive enough to try and stay in the playoff race. While there’s certainly still some untapped potential in the Swedish defenceman, Keefe has been vocal about wanting more out of Liljegren, specifically since returning from his injury. Either way, adding Parayko would be a huge upgrade.
The first-round pick is something that has been discussed at lengths around these parts and if Treliving ends up packaging it in any deal, expect to see some term on contracts coming back the other way. It’s been widely reported the Leafs GM prefers some team control and doesn’t want to give up the top pick for rentals.
The Blues have $1.2 million in projected deadline cap space, meanwhile the Leafs currently have just over $800,000. It’s going to be tough sledding to work out the finances but that’s what Brandon Pridham is for. St. Louis only has a projected $16.9 million to work with next offseason, so Armstrong will need to be smart when it comes to taking on bad contracts. Bertuzzi being a pending free agent doesn’t hurt, and with Liljegren heading for restricted free agency, there’s some leverage there for the Blues GM to consider. As for Toropchenko and Sundqvist, it will likely come down to how much interest there is around the league. Both could be valuable pieces for the right price, but shouldn’t be anyone the Leafs find themselves in a bidding war for.
St Louis’ trade targets would help reshape the Leafs heading into the playoffs and with Treliving already scouting the Blues even though there’s two matchups coming up, it certainly starting to creep into the realm of possibilities.

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