The Toronto Maple Leafs have an excellent roster, but they can still make it better.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have been the NHL’s best team since they hired Sheldon Keefe. Well, depending on the result of last night’s Penguins game, anyways. (This was written beforehand).
The Leafs have been excellent, but like all teams, they will look to improve if they can.
Just this week they attempted to add veteran Justin Williams to the fold, so we know they are looking.
But Williams is a marginal add at best. The Leafs have to decide if they want to go all-in and add an impact player to their roster.
Toronto Maple Leafs Home-Run Trade
If the Leafs choose to, they can add pretty much whatever player is available to them.
In order to make the cap space, they’d have to part with one of Kapanen and Johnson, as well as Cody Ceci, but if they did, they’d have close to eight million in cap space.
Now Johnson and Ceci aren’t going to get you an elite player.
But if you add in Rasmus Sandin, you could probably have whatever you want.
If a team has a potential impact player available, that means they are likely rebuilding and would jump at the chance to add such a player.
Giving up Sandin would be extremely difficult for the Leafs, but it’s something they have to at least consider.
Sandin is one of the best players in the world not currently in the NHL. He could easily have been the World Junior MVP if Sweden had of won gold.
Obviously no one wants to trade him, but if you want to win, sometimes you’ve got to make difficult decisions.
The risk wold be high – he could potentially develop into a #1 defenseman.
The reward could also be high – the player he brings back could give the Toronto Maple Leafs the Stanley Cup.
The New Jersey Devils just added Taylor Hall without giving up an asset like Sandin, so that should give you an idea of the type of player the Leafs could acquire.
In a dream world, he’s part of a package to get Alex Pietrangelo, but the Blues are looking to repeat and so he is likely not available at all.
But the Predators are likely going to miss the Playoffs, and depending on the status of his recent injury, Ryan Ellis might be a good target. He is a Norris Favorite this year who is right handed and signed for the next seven seasons. I mean, they just signed him, but they also didn’t expect their team to be this bad. it’s worth a shot.
The Leafs once traded both Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf shortly after extending them for more money than Ellis got – and that was several years ago.
Whether or not the Leafs want to pay the price to add the elite-level piece to their team that would put them over the top is something they will have to decide for themselves. It’s a hard decision to make, and I legitimately do not know if it’d be better to wait and develop Sandin, or cash him in for a ready-made star.
I do know that his stock has never been higher, and that if the Toronto Maple Leafs want to add a big name star to their roster, they do have the assets and the cap space to make it happen.