Expect the Toronto Maple Leafs to make a big trade between now and the NHL Trade Deadline.
There aren’t too many holes in the Toronto Maple Leafs roster right now. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t need to upgrade.
When the playoffs start, the biggest thing that every eventual Stanley Cup winner has isn’t talent, it’s depth. Injuries happen and especially in hockey (more than any other sport), the elite players play through injury despite not being even close to 100 percent.
The best players never want to come out of the line-up, so even if you think your line-up is completely healthy because your best players are playing, it doesn’t always mean that. And if you have zero depth, you can’t risk taking any of those players out of the line-up to recover. Instead, you’re forced to play everyone and risk even more harm.
Toronto Maple Leafs Potential Trade Chips
Toronto has players on their third and fourth line who can jump into a top-six role and/or play more meaningful minutes and help the team score. Whether that’s Ondrej Kase, Ilya Mikheyev or Jason Spezza, most of the bottom-six can jump into the top-six if necessary.
It wouldn’t be ideal but they can sustain it for a few games.
The same can’t be said about their defensive core. T.J. Brodie and Morgan Rielly are legit top-four defenseman. while Jake Muzzin is half the time. Meanwhile, Travis Dermott and Justin Holl shouldn’t play more than 10 minutes per night, and Timothy Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin are still raw.
You’d prefer not to put Liljegren and Sandin in a bigger role in the playoffs this year and could instead use two more defenseman to join the roster.
As such, the team will have to trade a few assets to get that defenseman. Here are the three likely candidates to get traded.