The Toronto Maple Leafs need a defenseman and the Carolina Hurricanes need a goaltender so let’s make a deal!
Although the two franchises aren’t rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes have been linked to each other quite frequently over the years.
Going back to the heart breaking loss in the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals, the Hurricanes and Leafs have shared some big moments. Starting with the Patrick Marleau trade that saw the Leafs also give up a first-rounder, Toronto and Carolina have been linked all year.
In December, the two teams played one of the craziest games of the season in an afternoon thriller. After storming out to a 3-1 lead, the Leafs found themselves down 6-4. However, a wild five-goal final frame helped them win the game 8-6, creating an early Christmas present for those in attendance.
Somehow that afternoon match-up wasn’t even the craziest game between these two teams this year. Fast-forward two months later to February 22, 2020.
This date will be ingrained in fans head’s forever.
As a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, it’s hard to think things could get worse. After years of Game 7 losses, dismal seasons with poor drafting and awful management, there’s nothing this team can do that we haven’t seen. Right?!
On a cold winter night in Toronto, the Leafs lost to a Zamboni driver. Yes, that’s right. Emergency goaltender David Ayres replaced both Hurricanes’ goaltenders after they got injured and won the game.
The Hurricanes played their hearts out, while the entire Leafs team gave up and folded, losing to Ayres. It was one of the most amazing stories in hockey history, yet one of the most embarrassing loses.
In more happy news, let’s go through this hypothetical trade between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Hurricanes:
Toronto Leafs Hypothetically Acquire Hamilton
- Toronto Maple Leafs acquire: Dougie Hamilton ($5.75M)
- Carolina Hurricanes acquire: Freddie Andersen ($5M)
The Leafs aren’t going to throw away their shot in this trade for Hamilton.
The team needs a defenseman and the Hurricanes need better goaltending. James Reimer and Petr Mrazek are both under contract for the 2020-21 season, but that duo is going to help them win a Stanley Cup.
Freddie Andersen has a much better chance to guide the team further than that duo. Andersen has played great at times, but has also performed poorly in key situations. Although this was his best statistical post-season, he folded in a huge Game 3 when the team gave him a 3-0 lead.
If the Leafs were to pass on Andersen, they can find a goaltender elsewhere through free agency. Even if the team doesn’t re-sign Hamilton when he becomes a free agent after the 2020-21 season, he would make a massive impact on the team for this season, as the Leafs Stanley Cup window has started.
Hamilton is a number-one defenseman and would upgrade the Leafs defense tremendously, even for one year.
Would you rather have Hamilton or Andersen for one year with uncertainty they’re going to leave? I’d take the chance with the top-defenseman and try to find goaltending help elsewhere.
Your move, Toronto.