The Toronto Maple Leafs could make a trade in the upcoming off-season that would improve both their blue-line and their salary cap situation.
As you may have heard, the Toronto Maple Leafs have spent most of their salary cap money for next year already.
The good thing is, if they enter the season with their current roster, they will likely still be a great team. Especially with the additions they have already made in Alex Barabanov and Mikko Lehtonen.
However, should the Leafs decide that they’d like to improve on what they have, and more specifically, if they decide that they really would like a right handed defenseman in their lineup, then they have one obvious target.
One that could put them over the top.
The Leafs should be circling the St. Louis Blues like vultures and attempting to pry Colton Parayko from their grasp.
Toronto Maple Leafs Off-Season Trade Idea
The main reason the Leafs should pursue Parayko is because he could theoretically be available.
The Blues are the defending Cup Champs and Alex Pietrangelo is a free-agent. He is their captain, best player, and arguably (since he won them their only cup) the best player in their franchise history.
Everyone has been talking about the Toronto Maple Leafs signing him, but realistically, why would he leave the place where he is synonymous with the team he plays for?
They have recently singed both Marco Scandella and Justin Faulk. This means that there is only one way they can give Pietrangelo the $3 million dollar raise he will require: trading Colton Parayko.
And with Pietrangelo, Faulk, Vince Dunn, and Scandella, the Blues would be dealing from a position of strength.
When the Blues signed Scandella and Faulk, they probably assumed they could just use a second rounder or two to get out of the Bozak and Steen deals, free up some cash to sign their captain and keep on winning.
But that can no longer happen, because good luck moving dud contracts next off-season.
So they will be forced to trade for Parayko.
The Leafs – in a situation where they could land a player like this – would have two main trade chips to work with: Kasperi Kapanen and Travis Dermott.
The Leafs would have to get creative here in order to save the Blues some money as both players combined salaries would likely eclipse Paraykos, but with two solid trade chips, there are a lot of options.
Maybe they trade Dermott and include Liljegren, and picks, or they move Kapanen in a separate deal first, and use the haul to sweeten the pot to St. Louis.
Parayko is a great player, and the Leafs could target him in an attempt to acquire an elite, right-handed defensemen, probably at a reasonable cost.
No need to trade Nylander or Marner. Just a good old fashioned hockey trade that would turn them into a powerhouse.