Summer Shopping: Why another Top-4 D should lead the Leafs’ list

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
10 months ago
If I were Leafs GM Brad Treliving, acquiring a top-4 blue liner this summer would be high atop my list of priorities.
I would put some urgency on it, too.
And knowing Treliving’s track record, there’s probably a good chance something will come to fruition over the next few weeks.
Over the course of the past week, the Columbus Blue Jackets kicked off the offseason party by nabbing both Ivan Provorov and Damon Severson in separate trades. Bottom line, Jarmo Kekalainen and company aren’t messing around. They wanted to upgrade their blue line, and they did just that.
Meantime, if there’s one thing that can be learned from this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, it’s that you can never have enough depth on the backend. Having said that, both Vegas and Florida have top-4 depth. There’s a difference.
In Toronto, goaltending always seems to be the sexy conversation, but what about the blue line? As currently constructed, is it good enough to win?
For starters, I’m totally down with Luke Schenn coming back. Furthermore, it was unfortunate to see Mark Giordano falloff the way he did. All in all, I thought he had a really strong regular season. Any way you slice it, load management needs to be a thing with the soon-to-be 40-year-old next season. They need to keep him fresh for the playoffs. As for Jake McCabe, he pretty much came as advertised to Toronto following his deadline trade from Chicago. He brings some bite, and the Leafs desperately need that.
Additionally, I think it’s make or break time for Timothy Liljegren. Unfortunately, inconsistency continues to plague the 24-year-old. He needs to take a step in the right direction soon, or it could be time to move on. It’s as simple as that.
So, that leaves Morgan Rielly and T.J. Brodie. Personally, the former made me forget all about his tough regular season with his outstanding performance in the postseason. He was incredible. As for Brodie, he had his moments, but for the most part, he had a down year. To be fair, both players dealt with nagging injuries this season, so it’s important to keep that into account as well.
Undoubtedly, to bolster their d-corps, the Leafs will have to get creative.
I know a few ways they can do that.

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