The Toronto Maple Leafs sure have remodeled their roster this off-season. Not their entire roster, but the bottom-six forwards and defense will look drastically different.
The Leafs have added Stephane Robidas and Roman Polak on defense while Petter Granberg will be given a shot to stick with the team training camp. Forwards the Leafs have added are: David Booth, Matt Frattin, Leo Komarov, Petri Kontiola, Mike Santorelli and Daniel Winnik.
The overhaul in the bottom-six reveals something. If you look at the Leafs roster page, they have 16 players listed and they haven’t even added Winnik yet. Now, take into account that teams can only have four lines of three players each. That’s twelve forwards.
Now, of course some of these players will be sent down to the Toronto Marlies, Colton Orr certainly will. However, something else could be brewing in this writer’s opinion.
What if the moves the Leafs have made are all leading to a trade?
Before all these moves happened, it looked like players Peter Holland and Carter Ashton were finally going to be given a fair shot. Now, it look like they will be victim’s of the Leafs’ added depth. Another byproduct of this is that the Leafs’ first round pick, William Nylander will probably not be playing with the big club this year. That mean’s he ‘ll either be playing for the Marlies or heading back to Sweden for one more season.
I’m not saying it will be a blockbuster trade with a big name moving out or in. Sure, it could be something like a Dion Phaneuf deal, but it could also be a trade involving Cody Franson to make room for Granberg. Let’s not forget, the Leafs still have to sign Jake Gardiner and with yesterday’s signing of Winnik, they only have about $3 million of cap space. That should be more than enough to get him signed but that won’t leave a lot of wiggle room.
So, I would say the chances of the Leafs making a trade is pretty high right now. Whether it’s a big one or small one remains to be seen, but something has to happen with this roster still.