Toronto Maple Leafs: Steer Clear of Luke Glendening

DETROIT, MI - FEBRUARY 13: Luke Glendening
DETROIT, MI - FEBRUARY 13: Luke Glendening /

Look, I get it. The Toronto Maple Leafs need a new centre for their fourth line, and Luke Glendening fits the bill.

On a surface level, Toronto’s reported interest in Glendening makes sense.

He’s a depth option, played under Mike Babcock in Detroit, and his name has the allure of someone who would be an upgrade over what the Leafs currently have.

But, here’s the thing. He’s not. Like, at all.

So, before Lou Lamoriello spends actual assets on what would essentially be a downgrade at Toronto’s weakest position, hear me out.



Have you ever wondered, “what if Dominic Moore was roughly twice as expensive and under contract for another three years?”.

If you have, allow me to introduce you to Glendening.

I will never understand how a player of his calibre earned a four-year contract. I mean, if you have the opportunity to lock Glendening and his career high 21 points down long-term, you jump at it, right?

At least with Moore, the Leafs can simply let him walk on July 1st. With Glendening, you’re saddled with him until 2020-21. Yikes.

In fact, Glendening is not just a comparable to Moore, he’s a downgrade.

His possession numbers are putrid. According to HockeyReference, Glendening currently rocks a 44.5% CF/60 at 5v5 this season, coming in as the second-highest total of his career. To put that in perspective, Frederik Gauthier posted a 46.8% in 21 games last season and was crucified for it.

One player is a career AHLer, and the other is apparently a hot commodity on the trade market.

If the Leafs truly feel in dire need of an offensively limited 4C who couldn’t drive possession if his life depended on it, they should just mosey on over to Ricoh.

On the other hand, Moore sports a 47.7% CF/60, with a slightly lower ppg pace than Glendening, in albeit far fewer minutes. Why waste a draft pick or roster depth on what would essentially be a redundant return?

Another aspect to consider in this case is Babcock.

We’ve lamented his reliance on Roman Polak and Leo Komarov all season long, and for good reason. Babcock loves his toys, and you better believe Glendening would become yet another one at his disposal.

What management needs to start doing is separating Babcock of his toys, not giving him more.

I mean, unless everyone’s cool with a combination of Glendening, Komarov, and Polak protecting a one-goal lead in the final seconds of a crucial game. Because that’s exactly what we’re headed towards if this deal goes down.

So, I’m sure Glendening is a fine person who “plays the right way” and what not. But, as a player, he’s essentially Dominic Moore with a worse contract.

Come trade deadline, I’m going to tell the Leafs what I’d tell anyone dating Justin Bieber: you can do better.

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Thanks for reading!