Toronto Maple Leafs Rumour Roundup – Georgiev, Sharks Depth Etc.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 06: Brendan Gallagher #11 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against Alexandar Georgiev #40 of the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on December 06, 2019 in New York City. The Canadiens defeated the Rangers 2-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 06: Brendan Gallagher #11 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against Alexandar Georgiev #40 of the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on December 06, 2019 in New York City. The Canadiens defeated the Rangers 2-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

With the Toronto Maple Leafs, there’s always a rumour surrounding the team.

One quick look at mainstream sports media will tell you that. And with the Toronto Maple Leafs being one of the biggest hockey markets, they’re bound to be in the middle of a lot of them.

The rumour swirl can get annoying, that’s for sure, but also fun – it depends on your perspective.

So with this in consideration, I’m going to break down a couple of rumours the Leafs are supposedly involved in.

Asking Price of Alexandar Georgiev Revealed

It was reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman the other day that the New York Rangers were going to begin listening to offers on Alexandar Georgiev. The 23 year-old Russian netminder carries a record of 10-9-1 with a goals against average of 3.17 and a save percentage of .909.

The Georgiev rumours come out following the emergence of KHL phenom and Rangers netminder Igor Shesterkin getting a look in the NHL. After a very impressive start to his AHL season that saw him keep his GAA below 2 and his save percentage over .930, Shesterkin was promoted to the NHL despite no injuries to Georgiev or Henrik Lundqvist. To add to this, he won both of his starts.

With Henrik Lundqvist on the tail-end of his career and Shesterkin ultimately being groomed as the Rangers’ starter of the future, it makes sense that the Rangers are listening to offers on Georgiev. Along with the initial report from yesterday, Friedman mentioned that the Rangers asking price in return would be a young forward who’s either NHL ready or almost ready.

Enter the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The backup goalie situation has been the centre of the Toronto media’s attention this year. After Michael Hutchinson’s abysmal start where he didn’t get his first win until his eighth game, questions over Frederik Andersen’s workload and the Leafs’ lack of support from the backup were raised.

Having said that, Hutchinson has looked a little bit better recently. He’s won his last three starts, including a shutout against the New York Islanders, and there seems to be a vibe that the Leafs’ players love playing in front of Hutch and want to win for him.

It’s no secret that the Toronto Maple Leafs have what the Rangers want in exchange for Georgiev. Especially with the recent emergence of players like Trevor Moore, Pierre Engvall, and Adam Brooks, if they want an NHL ready forward then they can look no further than Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson.

Or if they want someone who’s close to NHL ready, nobody fits the description better than Jeremy Bracco. The 22 year-old right winger has been the victim of a loaded Leafs depth chart on the right side, and the fact that he doesn’t have any sort of defensive game prevent him from making any sort of noise on the Leafs.

He would have to leapfrog the likes of Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and Kapanen, which is almost guaranteed not to happen. It also helps that Bracco is a native of New York state. He’s arguably ready for the NHL now, but he’s more likely to get that opportunity on another team than with the Leafs.

Just based on the price tag on Georgiev, I think the Leafs would only pursue this move if they had plans to groom him for a starting job should Frederik Andersen leave through free agency next season. Georgiev’s stats aren’t incredible this season, but he’s proven that he can be a stable goaltender at the NHL level and he’s only 23 years old, so there’s lots of room for him to grow.

Kicking Tires on Sharks Depth Players?

In the same segment, Friedman mentioned that the San Jose Sharks won’t be breaking up their core, but would be open to moving some depth names and that Toronto is one of the teams that’s supposedly kicked the tires on this depth. The two names that Friedman mentioned were defenseman Brenden Dillon and forward Melker Karlsson.

Dillon, 29, is a 6’4 225lb left-handed defenseman who has 11 points through 47 games and carries a corsi-for percentage of 51.8%. Karlsson, meanwhile, is a 29 year-old centre who has seven points through 43 games this year.

The Leafs already have a core set in stone among forwards and defensemen, but having too much depth is never a bad thing, and a move to acquire these players would almost entirely benefit the defensive side of the game if anything.

Karlsson and Dillon are both defensive minded players who would almost certainly be used on the penalty kill religiously. They’re both unrestricted free agents at the end of the season who carry a combined cap hit of $5.2 million.

Keeping this in mind, the Leafs would more than likely send Cody Ceci back as part of the return and throw in a couple of draft picks to sweeten the pot. The Sharks likely won’t be contending for a playoff spot this season, so being able to get a return on some of their expiring free agents seems like an ideal move for them. It’s also worth noting that Ceci’s deal expires at the end of the season, so there wouldn’t be any term for the Sharks to take on.

Next. The Leafs Have Assets and Ability to Make Blockbuster Trade. dark

In the end, I would take both of these rumours with a grain of salt seeing that this is all based on speculation. There hasn’t been any actual traction or indication that the Leafs are involved in active talks with these teams, but they’re both moves that could potentially make sense for the team.