Toronto Maple Leafs 4 Trades in 4 Days: Max Domi

COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 2: Max Domi #16 of the Columbus Blue Jackets controls the puck during the game against the Detroit Red Wings at Nationwide Arena on March 2, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 2: Max Domi #16 of the Columbus Blue Jackets controls the puck during the game against the Detroit Red Wings at Nationwide Arena on March 2, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

Sitting atop the North Division, the Toronto Maple Leafs approach the NHL Trade Deadline on April 12th with all eyes fixed firmly on GM Kyle Dubas.

That never waving attention, if possible, has become even more fixated after the trade of Travis Zajac and long rumoured Toronto Maple Leafs target Kyle Palmieri to the New York Islanders.

Palmieri’s trade somewhat narrows down the options for the Toronto Maple Leafs rumoured Top 6 winger target. Rickard Rakell, Mikael Granlund and Taylor Hall have all had tons of column inches dedicated to them, but what about some names off the board?

With the trade deadline looming, what if Kyle Dubas looked outside of what has been circulating? With just four days to go, here is Part One of Four Trades in Four Days.

Toronto Maple Leafs and the NHL Trade Deadline

Now for clarity’s sake, this is not to say that the Leafs are making four trades in four days, nor should they. No, Four Trades in Four Days is just a fun play on a tired question of “Who should the Leafs target at the deadline?”, picking four guys who haven’t generated all that much (if any) attention but could still prove valuable additions both short or long term.

In 2020 and indeed so far in 2021 we have nearly all been confined to our homes, some forced to return to their parent’s homes and so the first player to consider follows that trend. Welcome Home, Max Domi.

The Domi name needs no explanation, indeed, it was a rather sore point that the Leafs did not trade up to try and snag Domi in 2013. Now 26 and plying his trade in Columbus, Domi has struggled to establish himself there. A breakout rookie year of 52 points in 81 games showed all of his promise, with his best year as a Montreal Canadien, racking up 72 points in 2018/19.

Since then, injuries have played their part, but more so has the responsibility of playing centre. Domi played down the middle both in Arizona, Montreal and for a part in Columbus, but that would not be the case if he joined the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Toronto’s depth at centre would allow Domi to play left-wing, likely challenging Alex Galchenyuk for the left sided role on John Tavares wing. The deal works for a Columbus team floundering in 7th in the Central, who needs help down the middle after trading Pierre Luc-Dubios. and will want every extra dollar to put towards signing Patrik Laine.

Exchanging a $5.3 million cap hit on Domi for $3.5 million in Alexander Kerfoot sounds good for Columbus. They’d be gaining a responsible, reliable centre – exactly the type of player John Tortorella likes.

What do the Toronto Maple Leafs get out of this Domi deal? A player entering his prime who has shown he can score in the NHL. Domi brings grit, ability and feistiness to a Top 6 that might be without Zach Hyman next season and while he wouldn’t cover the loss of Hyman, his willingness to go into the dirty areas of the ice are notable.

The ‘Homecoming’ part for Domi should not be underestimated either. Domi has proven he can play in a Top 6 role but looks a tad lost in recent years. A return to his hometown, where he could establish a legacy in the footsteps of his Dad cannot be understated.

Plus, as of late Kerfoot has been spending much more time on the fourth line of the Toronto Maple Leafs and however you feel about Sheldon Keefe’s decision to do that, $.3.5 million on a fourth line player makes little sense.

Out goes Kerfoot and either Pierre Engvall stays at 3C or he drops back to 4C with Spezza taking draws on the line Engvall doesn’t. Domi is left to battle it out with Galchenyuk for 2nd line duties, and gives the Leafs more scoring depth in their Top 9 than Kerfoot was providing.

The astute mathematicians out there will know that 5.3 is bigger than 3.5 and this is where a team like the Chicago Blackhawks or the San Jose Sharks come in. Both have a lot of cap space, and in the case of the Sharks, have floated the point around the league they will act as a salary cap dumping ground in exchange for picks.

Next. Trade Rumours Heating Up. dark

It may not be the most likely addition, but if the Leafs could somehow acquire Max Domi, it would go a long way to helping them win their first Stanley Cup in over 50 years.