The Toronto Maple Leafs can orchestrate a blockbuster deal before the trade deadline.
The Toronto Maple Leafs need for additional depth is dire.
After the hot streak, in which the Toronto Maple Leafs racked up a 10-1-1 record from mid-December untill early January, Toronto’s consistency faltered in which they gathered a 7-7-3 record.
Given their poor start to the season under former head coach Mike Babcock, it’s both a blessing and a curse they are still in playoff contention, even seeded in the Atlantic’s third playoff seed.
Defensively, Toronto has been a fire hazard this season, fueled by ongoing injuries that still sees star defenceman Morgan Rielly, and Cody Ceci sidelined.
Currently ranked 29th in the league in goals-against, 25th in shots against when 5v5, it’s a rather rhetorical question where Dubas needs to add depth before the trade deadline, the blueline. (Per naturalstattrick).
Enter the Anaheim Ducks, obvious sellers at the trade deadline.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Josh Manson
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Josh Manson are often mentioned together in trade rumours, to no surprise for anyone.
It’s probably the worlds worst kept secret that the Toronto Maple Leafs have been desperately looking for a shutdown defenceman who compliments their star defenceman, Morgan Rielly.
Manson fits this profile, perfectly even.
To add a cherry on top; he carries a reasonable cap-hit for a top-pairing defenceman, signed through the 21-22 season.
Manson, however, is more than just a shutdown defenceman who can throw hits, clear the puck, and “stays home”. He’s an excellent puck-mover and if paired with Rielly should be able to rack up points as well.
Affordable Trade Package
For the Anaheim Ducks, trading Manson is an obvious move that will be made eventually, if not during this trade deadline, it will likely happen this summer.
Currently in his prime, Manson, by far, is the most valuable trade chip the Anaheim Ducks hold.
The majority of the Ducks (core) roster are passing their prime, while still being signed for seasons to come, a rebuild seems inevitable.
The Anaheim Ducks aren’t good right now and likely won’t become a good time again any time soon, meaning they won’t be looking for NHL ready players necessarily. They will likely look for draft picks, prospects and players who can grow with the teams rebuild.
So what could a potential trade package look like?
It will probably cost the Toronto Maple Leafs Travis Dermott, a first-round pick (which isn’t worth much, expecting it’s a late-round pick), a second-round pick, and one or two prospects.
It’s unlikely that Kapanen or Johnsson will be part of a package deal, their term ends before Anaheim are close to being rebuilt. They will likely try to involve either Sandin or Liljegren in the deal, something Dubas needs to try to avoid.
Whether Manson is available and affordable when the trade deadline creeps closer remains to be seen, nevertheless, the Toronto Maple Leafs should definitely pursue Manson.