Toronto Maple Leafs: Old Hurricanes Rumours Revived

RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 18: Carolina Hurricanes Defenceman Dougie Hamilton (19) follows through on a shot during a game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the New Jersey Devils at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC on November 18, 2018. (Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 18: Carolina Hurricanes Defenceman Dougie Hamilton (19) follows through on a shot during a game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the New Jersey Devils at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC on November 18, 2018. (Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t played a game in over a month, and we’re talking about them more than ever.

I’d welcome you to the off-season of the Toronto Maple Leafs, but there is no off-season. Not for this team.

And we like it that way.

If you can’t watch hockey – and who in their right mind wants to see the Bruins win a Stanley Cup? – at least you can speculate on it endlessly.  And if that sounds like fun to you, then you couldn’t cheer for a better team that the Leafs.

The last ten days already saw Marner’s agent leak some spicy threats through Darren Dreger, Kyle Dubas mock Darren Dreger,  Marleau surface in trade rumours, then confirm that he would waive his no-trade to go back out west.

If that wasn’t enough, then Zaitsev requested a trade, then he hilariously ripped Don Cherry in a Russian interview. After that, Sean Avery doubled the life of the  Kadri for Trouba rumours, Elliotte Friedman talked about Zaitsev going to the Canucks and finally Pierre Lebrun talked about the Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs making a deal on TSN radio.

This revived the months-old rumours about The Leafs and Hurricanes, and (I am assuming) got every Leafs fan excited about the possibly of one of the NHL’s very best defenseman, Dougie Hamilton, coming to Toronto.

Leafs and Canes

Now, Lebrun didn’t exactly say the Leafs and Canes were talking trade, he just said that the Hurricanes were “keeping tabs” on the Leafs, and that it’s a fit that makes sense.

He is right about that: the Hurricanes are deep in defense and the Leafs are deep on forward.  It only makes sense that the two teams would make a deal.

Lebrun mentioned Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson (along with Zaitsev) as potential chips that would be used to acquire either Brett Pesce, Justin Faulk or Dougie Hamilton.

All three are right-handed, and all three would be excellent additions to the Leafs.

Pesce is 24 and signed to one of the best deals in the NHL. He is the very definition of an “analytics darling,” and would be a great pick-up.

Faulk is 27, more expensive, but still excellent.  Hamilton – the most ideal and therefore the least likely – is 25 and among the best hockey players in the world.  Some say that the Leafs “don’t need” another defenseman like this – but they 100% do.  Faulk is a fantastic player, and the Leafs would be lucky to have him.

If Dougie Hamilton is available, the Leafs should move heaven and earth to get him.  He instantly becomes their best defenseman, and solidifies what would then be a blue-line to behold.

Dougie Hamilton is the best of these three, and arguably the best in the NHL, at least when Erik Karlsson isn’t healthy.

I have a hard time believing the Leafs could acquire Hamilton with only Johnsson and Kapanen as bait, but no-one says you can’t add.  Would a Liljegren or a Sandin get it done?  You’d hate to lose one of those guys, but if you’re adding a player who is twice as good as they project to be if they hit their absolute ceiling, you do it.

Next. Trade Rumour Leafs and Canucks. dark

I don’t know really how Zaitsev would fit in, and I don’t really care. Bringing Dougie Hamilton back to his rightful home would be almost as good as drafting Auston Matthews or signing John Tavares.

I have my doubts, but hopefully they can get it done.