Potential trade pieces between the Toronto Maple Leafs & Minnesota Wild: Seller Profiles

Photo credit:© Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
1 month ago
The NHL trade deadline is less than a week away and Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving isn’t finished upgrading his roster. There continues to be a focus to find another defensemen and likely a depth forward for the middle-six. Treliving will be working the phones hard for the next week, getting a sense of which teams are looking to sell off some assets.
Insert Bill Guerin and the Minnesota Wild, the latest team to enter our Seller Profiles for the Leafs. The Wild sit eight points back of the second wild-card spot entering Saturday’s action and even though there’d be a long list of suitors lined up looking to add Marc-Andre Fleury, consensus is it’s been mutually agreed no trade will be taking place before March 8. Let’s dive into what else the Wild have to offer that could align nicely for Treliving and the Maple Leafs:

Brandon Duhaime

Duhaime’s name has been ‘out there’ on the trade deadline as Frank Seravalli mentioned recently the Vancouver Canucks were interested. The Maple Leafs could be too. Duhaime’s a 26-year-old pending restricted free agent who plays the game with speed, tenacity and a work ethic which could do wonders for the Maple Leafs third or fourth line.
In limited minutes, he’s produced four goals and four assists in 60 games this season, playing 20% of his nightly minutes killing penalties. Penalty killers and defensemen are two things you can’t have enough of, and the Maple Leafs are currently looking for both.
Duhaime’s 6-foot-2 and a former fourth-round pick, and last season carved himself out a nice role by producing 5vs5, with eight even strength goals in just 51 games. This season he’s been throwing his weight around, landing 149 hits despite playing just 10:33 of ice-time a night. Here’s what Seravalli had to say about Duhaime’s trade potential:
Duhaime is certainly intriguing. If you don’t watch the Wild play regularly, Duhaime’s stat line isn’t going to get you excited. But if you watch, his noticeable speed has certainly caught the attention of opposing teams. Duhaime is an ideal fourth line winger on a contender. He harnesses his speed and work ethic to be an aggressive, impact player on the forecheck. He makes smart plays. Last year, he chipped in with nine goals – nearly reaching double digits – and he barely cracks 10 minutes per night. He also has an edge and toughness to his game that is somewhat rare these days.
Sounds ideal for the Maple Leafs. Duhaime’s affordable, making just $1.1 million against the cap this season and with some team control moving forward. The Wild have $3.25 million of projected deadline cap space so there’s certainly some wiggle room financially for Guerin to get as creative as needed. The Leafs on the other hand have some more money to spend ahead of Friday’s deadline thanks to some handy work from Treliving to get a third team involved on the Ilya Lyubushkin trade.
Duhaime’s intriguing for the Maple Leafs because of his speed, tenacity, ability to kill penalties, and he’s just getting started in his third NHL season. Noah Gregor’s been inconsistent of late and in and out of the lineup, Duhaime could bring some more stability and production to Toronto’s fourth line.

Connor Dewar

Speaking of helping the Maple Leafs’ penalty kill, the Wild also have Connor Dewar up front who could be a prime trade target for Treliving. Dewar’s a ferocious forechecker who loves to pressure the opposing defensemen into mistakes. He’s been a regular on the Wild’s PK unit all season long and would be a nice upgrade in Toronto and allow for the big guns of the Leafs to ease up on the PK duties as the extra work load could be too much to handle in the playoffs.
Dewar’s produced nicely this season in limited minutes, recording nine goals and 13 points in 54 games and at just $800,000 against the cap, could easily be fit in financially on the Maple Leafs. He’s 24 years old and while he’s just 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, Dewar makes up what he lacks in size with a motor that rivals any forward on the Leafs.
Dewar may be a more intriguing option for Treliving over Duhaime for the simple fact he can play centre or wing. Duhaime’s been used primarily as a winger, meanwhile Dewar’s won 46% of his faceoffs this season. Adding him to the PK mix and to the fourth line could bring some more versatility to the Leafs third and fourth-lines. His defensive metrics are ranked very high and he’s been known as one of the best penalty killers across the entire NHL:
The acquisition price for either Dewar or Duhaime won’t be astronomical. Guerin certainly values both players for their style of play and how they’ve been able to carve out a role on the team, but their both certainly far from untouchable. The Leafs are very limited in draft capital, so it’s likely going to have to be an AHLer who is pushing the door of opportunity down. Ryan Tverberg is a Toronto Marlie who has been turning heads with his production this season and was recently mentioned by Nick Alberga as someone who has come up in trade conversations. Perhaps he’s an option for the Wild who will be looking to audition some players down the stretch for next season.
The last of the potential trade targets out of Minnesota would be Zach Bogosian, but that’s more so for strictly depth purposes and for another option on the right side. He’s not necessarily going to move the needle in Toronto or even crack the top three pairings, so he’s certainly not as good as a fit as Duhaime or Dewar. Bogo also owns a 21-team no-trade list which likely includes all the Canadian teams based on previous desires to be closer to his family.

Treliving’s Willing to Get Creative on the Trade Front

John Tavares’ experiment as the third-line centre isn’t necessarily going so well as he looks uncomfortable, out of place and a step behind these days. Meanwhile David Kampf’s been uber inconsistent this season and is someone Treliving could try and move ahead of the deadline. There’s been speculation over former Flame Chris Tanev and the fact Calgary received an offer of a first-round pick but the ‘mystery’ team wanted the Flames to take back a ‘bad contract’ with term. Very well could have been the Leafs and Treliving offering Kampf and his $2.1 million AAV the next three seasons.
Adding Dewar could open up a realm of possibilities for not only the coaching staff but for Treliving. Making a deal with Guerin in Minnesota is never easy, considering they have $14.7 million in dead cap space this season and next, however Guerin’s shown in the past he’s willing to get involved, including when the Wild shockingly retained salary on Ryan O’Reilly last season so Kyle Dubas could facilitate the blockbuster with the Blues. Maybe it’s Treliving’s turn to get Guerin on board with a pre-deadline transaction.

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