Toronto Maple Leafs Roundtable: Trade Deadline Targets And Needs

TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 07: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his game winning goal at 13:10 in overtime to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 07, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 07: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his game winning goal at 13:10 in overtime to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 07, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
DALLAS, TX – JUNE 22: General manager Kyle Dubas of the Toronto Maple Leafs . (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Michael Da Ponte

Kyle Dubas, the last two seasons, had pulled the trigger on a trade weeks before the trade deadline and I expect that to be the case this year.

Last year it was Jack Campbell and Kyle Clifford brought in three weeks before the deadline. The year before Dubas traded for Jake Muzzin a month in advance of the trade deadline to make sure that Muzzin had a few extra weeks to get acclimated to Toronto and their system.

This year more than any other year it is imperative for Dubas to act well ahead of the trade deadline. I believe the priority for Dubas is to execute a trade at least three weeks ahead of the deadline. The trade deadline is April 12, which is less than four weeks away from now so I expect a trade to be done any day now. With Canada currently requiring any travelers coming into Canada to quarantine for 14 days, the longer Dubas waits the fewer games a potential trade acquisition would have to play with the Maple Leafs.

For example, if Dubas is not able to make a trade until the April 12 deadline that would mean the player wouldn’t be able to even practice with the team until April 27th and likely wouldn’t play until he got in at least a couple of practices.

The regular season ends 11 days later on May 8 and in that span, the Toronto Maple Leafs only have 5 or 6 games that their new acquisition could play in before playoffs start. In my opinion, a trade like that would not be worth the cost and could end up being a waste if the player is not able to be effective.

Whether it is a top 6 forward, a bottom pairing d-man or some depth goaltending, the most important thing for Kyle Dubas is to get that player here well ahead of the trade deadline. I know that there are salary cap implications but the management team needs to find a way to make it work.

Otherwise, there may be no point in making a move at all.