Mar 11, 2014; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (19) celebrates as the puck goes past Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer (34) on a first period score by San Jose Sharks right wing Brent Burns (88), not in picture, at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Trade Speculation: Centers Seem To Be At A Premium For The Toronto Maple Leafs

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have been making appearances in the rumor mill at an almost daily rate. Whether it be about trading away one of their own players or being interested in another team’s player, it just doesn’t seem to stop.

Of course, once again the focus seems to be acquiring a center. Maybe not a No. 1 center, but at least one that can eat up a lot of minutes on the second or third lines.

Whether it be Joe Thornton or Ryan Kesler, it seems the Leafs will always be mentioned. With Paul Stastny the only center that would fit the Leafs offensive, minute-crunching needs in free agency, if the Leafs are to bring in a center, it will more than likely come via trade.

The Leafs have two centers heading towards free agency in Dave Bolland and Jay McClement. It is also unclear if Nazem Kadri will be back in a Leafs uniform with the rumors that constantly surround him. It looks like the only center assured to be back in Toronto is Tyler Bozak.

So what do the Maple Leafs do?

With Nick Kypreos saying that the only four untouchables in Toronto being Bozak, Phil Kessel, Jonathan Bernier and Morgan Rielly, it looks like nearly anyone else could be packaged in order to acquire a center that can fill their needs.

The question is, when will it happen? Or maybe the question should be will it even happen at all? Will the Leafs, in trying to get the best deal possible, end up losing the chance at a good deal? Look at what happened with the Vancouver Canucks with Roberto Luongo as an example.

Until something happens, the Leafs will be surrounded by rumors. Hopefully, we something concrete soon.

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Tags: NHL Trade Speculation Toronto Maple Leafs

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