Well, what do you know. Yesterday, I wrote an article asking you what you thought the Toronto Maple Leafs’ greatest need in a trade was. Over half of you said that the Leafs needed a shutdown defenseman above anything else, while a quarter of you said the Leafs needed a centerman.
Today, as if on cue, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun mentioned two rumors concerning the Leafs in his Sunday column of the Toronto Sun. What would the Leafs be getting in these deals? You guessed it: A shutdown defenseman and a centerman.
First, a name that I have talked about a few times: Tim Gleason. Gleason is one of the more under-appreciated shutdown defenders in the league and was named to Team USA at the 2010 Olympics but missed the tournament due to injury.
Garrioch’s exact words were:
The talk is the Leafs are trying to sweeten the pot to acquire defenceman Tim Gleason in exchange for John-Michael Liles. For that deal to happen, it will have to get bigger because Gleason for Liles straight-up would be embarrassing for the Hurricanes.
When I read that, I assume that the Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes have agreed that they would both like the other team’s player and would make the trade if the had to. I do understand the part about it getting bigger as the deal would definitely be in Toronto’s favor in a straight Liles for Gleason deal.
The second name is a name that hasn’t been thrown around but hasn’t been linked to the Leafs in a while: Sam Gagner. Garrioch speculates that Leafs’ GM Dave Nonis might have shown interest in Gagner recently, but the stumbling block would be his $4.8-million cap hit over this year and next.
Gagner would be a great pickup, but I fear what would have to be sent to the Edmonton Oilers in return. If they were to send any of their top prospects, it would end up being a bad deal for Toronto.
With the roster freeze now in effect, no trades can be made until December 28th. When the clock hits midnight that day, there might be a flurry of the trades and who knows, some might involve the Leafs.