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Report: Maple Leafs GM has discussed trades involving Alexandre Carrier & Sean Walker

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Photo credit:© Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
2 months ago
Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving must be loving what he’s seeing from his hockey club of late as the team has rallied together and snagged four points with number one defenseman Morgan Rielly out of the lineup. While there’s been a couple of Leafs blueliners stepping up nicely in Rielly’s place this week, that doesn’t mean for a second that Treliving isn’t looking to upgrade the blue line and bring in some fresh faces for this season’s Stanley Cup Playoff run.
According to hockey insider Chris Johnston, Treliving has recently made trade calls on Philadelphia Flyers d-man Sean Walker and Nashville Predators RHD Alexandre Carrier.
Walker is someone who has been linked to the Maple Leafs all season long. He’s a smooth-skating pending free-agent who is from the area and likely not in the Flyers long-term plans, even with the team sitting third in their division. Flyers GM Daniel Briere is looking to cash in on some assets and won’t be interest in ‘buying’ ahead of the March 8 deadline. Treliving got a first-hand look at Walker on Thursday night in the Leafs OT victory, the Keswick, ON native played 20:00, including 2:16 shorthanded, recording one shot, one hit, two blocked shots and took a delay of game penalty. He’s enjoying a career season in his first year in Philly and has been a staple on the team’s penalty kill, which ranks among the league’s best and an area the Leafs could desperately improve in.
Carrier on the other hand, has four goals and 15 points in 49 games in Smashville and has also been playing a ton of minutes killing penalties. He’s not as involved offensively as Walker is, however he does sacrifice his body more and isn’t afraid to block shots, with 99 recorded on the season. Johnston had this to say about Carrier’s trade profile:
What he lacks in size, he makes up for in smarts. The right-shot defenseman may noy be equipped to muscle opponents off the puck with his 5-foot-11 frame, but he’s a positionally sound player who gets around the ice well. He’s also a pending unrestricted free agent making just $2.5 million — good value for someone who plays north of 18 minutes per night. Carrier is a reliable shot-blocker known for having a competitive streak. Consider him a strong depth option for a team trying to insulate itself for a long playoff run.

Has Treliving’s Focused Changed?

Something the Maple Leafs GM mentioned during training camp to start the season was the fact he felt the Leafs blueline needed more strength and size and there’s been a lot of talk about what types of d-men should be brought in as upgrades. When it comes to Walker and Carrier, they’re both undersized at 5’11 and aren’t necessarily known to be bruising defenders to play against.
What they are known for is their skating abilities and willingness to block shots, muck it up in the dirty areas of the ice and do all the little things well to help the team win. If either are brought in, don’t expect to see them pushing Rielly for power-play minutes. They could however, give Mark Giordano a break from playing regularly, or at all, for that matter and align the Leafs blueline depth chart properly.
Treliving’s in a tough spot thanks to Kyle Dubas moving out the second-round picks over the next three drafts as that’s a very common asking price for depth defensemen who are pending free-agents. The Maple Leafs GM will need to get creative to pull off a move ahead of March 8, likely staying away from moving a first-rounder for a rental, or one of Easton Cowan and Fraser Minten. There seems to be quite the divide on these two top prospects of late and just how good they project to be as NHLers, but maybe more importantly, when they should be expected to contribute on a regular basis at the NHL level.
There’s no doubt it’s going to be tough sledding for Treliving as he approaches his first trade deadline in Toronto. With limited trade resources that he’s willing to part with and asking prices around the league that appear to be set in stone, he’ll need to get very creative to find a dance partner. It takes two to tango and right now he’s all alone on the dance floor.

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