Potential trade pieces between the Toronto Maple Leafs & Arizona Coyotes: Seller Profiles

Photo credit:Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
1 month ago
Another hockey season in the desert is headed for the NHL Draft Lottery. The Arizona Coyotes continue to disappoint their fan base as the ‘Yotes enter action on Wednesday night against the Maple Leafs with a 23-28-4 record, 10 points back of the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.
The Coyotes have no shot at making the postseason and ahead of the March 8 trade deadline, look for GM Bill Armstrong to be very active, trying once again to re-tool/rebuild the roster in Arizona. With the Coyotes selling and with Brad Treliving and the Maple Leafs buying, at least a little, there’s solid potential these two teams will be doing business together ahead of the deadline.

Coyotes Have Two ‘Fits’ for Toronto

If there’s a deadline deal completed by these two teams, Matt Dumba is likely involved. It’s been well documented how Dumba was all over Treliving’s radar once he took over the GM position in Toronto and frankly, the Leafs wanted Dumba before they landed on John Klingberg.
Dumba’s game is perfectly suited for the Maple Leafs’ needs. He’s a defensive defenseman who is physical, sacrifices his body, skates well and can make the first pass. He’s a pending free agent after signing a one-year $3.9 million deal in Arizona, a month into free agency. The Leafs didn’t want to wait around for a decision and miss the market, so once Dumba decided he was going to wait things out, Treliving moved on.
The 29-year-old blueliner has appeared in 51 games for the ‘Yotes, recording four goals, nine points, plays over 20 minutes a night, including averaging 2:55 shorthanded. Dumba loves to throw the body, collecting 131 hits, which would rank him third on the Leafs behind Simon Benoit and Jake McCabe. His 78 blocks would rank fifth among Leafs defenders.
Dumba would give the Leafs a partner for Morgan Rielly, another right-handed shot, and they could keep Benoit and McCabe together as the second pair, moving TJ Brodie down to the bottom pair with Timothy Liljegren, which is a much better spot on the depth chart for Brodie and balances things out nicely among the pairs.
Dumba’s game has turned up a level since the all-star break as he continues to audition for playoff-bound teams. Last week against the Avalanche, he had himself quite the first period, including drawing two penalties, scoring a goal, and landing three hits:
The Regina native checks a lot of boxes for the Maple Leafs and is someone Treliving would consider keeping around for a few more seasons.
While Sean Durzi is a pipe dream because of the acquisition cost expected if he’s moved, let’s move up front and take a look at Coyotes’ power forward, Lawson Crouse. For what it’s worth Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos recently suggested Crouse as his Maple Leafs #1 trade target ahead of the deadline.
Crouse is a big body at 6-foot-4 and even though it seems like he’s been in the league forever, he’s just 26 years old and is signed through the 2026-27 season at a reasonable $4.3 million average annual value (AAV). So far this season, Crouse has recorded 20 goals and 31 points in 55 games, ranking him fourth on the Coyotes.
The appeal here is the fact Crouse can play in all situations, he’s scored 15 even strength goals already this year and is an absolute physical presence on the ice that would give the Maple Leafs a new wrinkle up front. I think a lot of people felt Tyler Bertuzzi was going to be much more physical than he is and Crouse wouldn’t leave much to be desired. He’s landed 117 hits this season, which would rank him second among Leafs forwards behind Noah Gregor.
While he’s a physical presence on the ice, it’s the offensive side of the game that’s coming into form for Crouse. He’s now posted back-to-back-to-back 20-goal seasons and is on pace to pass his career high in points. He’d slot in perfectly anywhere among the Maple Leafs top-six and second power-play unit, allowing for Keefe to move Bertuzzi down to a checking role on the third line, where he’s shown some chemistry playing alongside Max Domi. If Treliving truly wants some piss and vinegar, Crouse provides a Texas Mickey.

Asking Price Will Vary for Coyotes Targets

Dumba is a pending free agent who would likely cost the Leafs their third-round pick, and a mid-to-high level prospect. Because of their cap restraints, the Coyotes could be asked to retain salary, and if that’s the case, the prospect would become among the Leafs top-10.
Crouse on the other hand has three more seasons of team control, is in the prime of his career, and would cost the Maple Leafs much more to acquire. Yes, one of Easton Cowan or Fraser Minten would need be to involved here, so to would the 2024 first-round pick. And it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Coyotes ask for Nick Robertson as well. When there’s team control involved, the price tag skyrockets. In order to help balance out the $4.3 million Crouse is owed, Treliving would need to include another roster player. David Kampf? For some reason Kampf has a modified 10-team no-trade clause and playing on a college campus likely makes the list. Treliving can blame himself for that one.
The Leafs cap situation is so complicated it makes adding Crouse very difficult to navigate. Bertuzzi and his $5.5 million has a no-movement clause and it’s not likely the Coyotes are interested at a late-season audition. Brodie is owed $5 million, has a 10-team no-trade, and considering Brodie’s past with Treliving and how much his teammates love him, that would be a tough one to swallow for a lot of people. Ryan Reaves is a candidate as a throw in and same goes for Connor Timmins.
One wrinkle to consider here is the Coyotes own 20 picks in the first three rounds, these next three seasons and even though you’d think they were content, turns out they are looking to continue the stock pile. According to Chris Johnston of TSN, are looking to acquire more picks. CJ states the Coyotes are thinking they can’t have enough of a good thing and with Armstrong in the market for more picks, and with Treliving open to moving his 2024 first-rounder for someone with term, the potential we see a deal between these two clubs before March 8 is certainly heating up. Middle of the desert hot? Maybe not quite, but a lot can change between now and the deadline.

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