Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Watch: An Alternative to Granlund

Ryan Dzingel, Ottawa Senators (Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports)
Ryan Dzingel, Ottawa Senators (Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports) /

If the Toronto Maple Leafs can’t snag Granlund, there is another option

The media in Toronto is going wild over trade speculations surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs, as they do every season. The most common name brought up is Nashville Predators forward Mikael Granlund.

He is a highly coveted player for Toronto and other competing teams looking to improve their team heading into the playoffs and through to compete for a championship.

If general manager Kyle Dubas can’t what is perhaps his number one option, he watched a potential backup plan on Wednesday.

It was a Wednesday night matchup between the Ottawa Senators and the Calgary Flames. The Toronto Maple Leafs would play the Senators the following day, but that doesn’t warrant sitting in a suite to watch a game not involving your team. Kyle Dubas made his appearance.

Toronto was tied to Flames forward Sam Bennett for some time now, but Dubas could be taking a closer look at someone else. The Flames are looking to play in the playoffs, while the Senators are far out and remain rebuilders. Dubas is looking at Senators forward Ryan Dzingel.

Who is Ryan Dzingel?

If you want a versatile forward with a cheap contract and defensive instincts, Dzingel is your guy. Dzingel’s offensive ceiling is nowhere near that of Granlund, but he offers something else.

Dzingel had a career-high of 44 points in 57 games in the ’18-’19 season but failed to replicate that level of success in his other six seasons. So far this season, the forward has five points in nine games. All five of his points are goals.

With how the Toronto Maple Leafs are playing, they don’t need goal-scorers. While trading for Granlund would be great, that would require more resources and waiting two weeks because of the Covid-19 protocols.

I can see Dzingel having a similar impact on the team as forward Alex Kerfoot. A defensive presence is needed, and he can be that guy. That may be either as a winger on the top two lines or anywhere on the third line. Fitting him into the team’s salary cap would be easier than other options. The $3.375 million cap hit can be cut to $1.688 million if Ottawa retains 50 percent of his contract.

With the upcoming expansion draft, trading for a player with a term beyond this season complicates things. The 29-year-old’s contract expires this offseason, meaning there is no need to waste a spot on the protected list.

Kyle Dubas is going to look at all options available. In adding Ryan Dzingel, the Toronto Maple Leafs will get a defensive forward that can play in all three forward slots.

Next. Mega List of Leafs Trade Options. dark

Working out the cap situation is much easier, and the team can keep their valuable assets. While adding Ryan Dzingel may not be Dubas’ top option, it is one he will consider. With the variables in place, he is an attractive option to help the team push for their first Stanley Cup in 54 years.