The Toronto Maple Leafs should trade for Dougie Hamilton
The Toronto Maple Leafs have been horribly defensively, it’s the harsh truth.
Toronto ranks 27th in the league in goals-against at 5v5, have a negative HDCF percentage of 49,08% at 5v5, and rank 26th in the league with average shots against per game at 5v5. (per naturalstattrick).
On top of that, it’s clear the Cody Ceci experiment isn’t working and there’s absolutely no reason to believe that will change, even under Keefe.
A much-needed change is inevitable, a change that’s unlikely to come from within the existing roster.
Toronto Maple Leafs and Dougie Hamilton
For the Toronto Maple Leafs, trading for a defenseman at this point just makes sense. Toronto desperately needs a big, physical, and right-handed shot to play with Morgan Rielly.
The Toronto Maple Leafs need Dougie Hamilton.
Hamilton is 6.6 feet tall and weighs 229 pounds, has a hard shot, long reach with his stick and can play big minutes. Bonus point; he’s from Toronto. I mean, come on, Hamilton just screams “perfect fit” for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It also happens to be that Toronto has exactly what Carolina needs, making them perfect trade partners. Where Carolina has defensive depth, they lack this depth offensively, Toronto can offer Carolina this offensive depth.
“But Wil, aren’t the Toronto Maple Leafs completely capped out?”
Yes, they are. But they can absolutely trade for Hamilton, clearing some cap space in the process even for another potential trade at the trade deadline.
How? Allow me to explain;
The Toronto Maple Leafs and The Carolina Hurricanes
Carolina actively pursued Nylander in the past, but he won’t be traded. It’s more likely Kasperi Kapanen will be the centrepiece of a trade package. Ceci would have to go as well, possibly in a separate deal.
Hamilton makes $5.75 and is signed through next year.
A solid puck moving defenseman and one of the best players in the NHL isn’t going to come cheap. In addition to Kapanen, the Leafs would probably have to include one of their top prospects – Nick Robertson. Rasmus Sandin or Timothy Liljegren – and some draft picks, maybe more.
The addition of Dougie Hamilton would make the Toronto Maple Leafs blueline absolutely terrifying to opponents. Rielly, Hamitlon, Muzzin and Barrie would be far and away the best top-four in the NHL.
It would be extremely expensive to acquire him, but it would be worth it because the Leafs would then have an incredible roster. It would be an all-in move, but the the Leafs are close so they might as well go for it.
This is a move that would me the Toronto Maple Leafs the best team in the entire league, so they should give it a shot.