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When it comes to the trade deadline, Brad Treliving should take a wait & see approach
By Nick Alberga28 days ago
The NHL trade deadline is just 45 days away.
That leaves a grand total of 18 games for the Maple Leafs to prove to their general manager that they’re a contender, and not a pretender.
Through 45 outings, it’s been a mixed bag for Sheldon Keefe and company, who have two games remaining – a home and home with the red-hot Winnipeg Jets – before the All-Star break/ bye week.
Over the next 13 days, Toronto is slated to play just twice, which depending on how you look at it, could be a positive or a negative.
After riling off four straight victories to kick off 2024, the Leafs have just two wins in their past seven games. On top of that, they’ve notched just one win against a team currently in a playoff spot since mid-December.
Simply put, it’s put up or shut up time.
For a team that viewed itself in training camp as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, by the day, it’s becoming increasingly likely that the Leafs could be in for a dogfight just to make the postseason this year.
All things being equal, it will be fascinating to see how they elect to navigate through the next month and a bit leading up to March 8. To this point, management has been relatively patient, and just like the team on the ice, they remain hopeful that everything will come together at the right time.
Big picture, even though the clock continues to tick on the much-maligned core that the previous administration put together, Brad Treliving owes this team absolutely nothing. His job is secure. If he doesn’t like what he sees, it could be in his best interest to stand pat and aim for an extensive overhaul come the offseason.
And considering how this squad currently stacks up against some of the league’s elite teams – including several of them in their own division – that play could make the most sense right now.
But again, the players and the coaching staff have the ability to influence Treliving’s direction —one way or another.
The next six weeks should be mighty interesting.
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