If there is one area that is always a problem for the Toronto Maple Leafs, it is on defense. You can never have enough defenseman. Here are a few the Leafs could attempt to get in order to add some depth to their blue-line.
Ryan Graves is a big 6’5″ defenseman playing with the New Jersey Devils. He can eat up a lot of minutes and isn’t afraid to play physically. Graves averages around 21 minutes a night and has 16 points in 35 games. He currently has 41 hits but has shown in the past that he can be more physical. Graves has one more year left on his contract after this season worth $3.16 million.
Luke Schenn would be a good depth option for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He brings plenty of playoff experience after helping the Tampa Bay Lightning win back-to-back Stanley Cups. Schenn also brings a ton of physicality, as evidenced by his 98 hits in 25 games this season. His salary-cap hit is just $850,000 this season and next season.
Scott Mayfield can play around 20 minutes a night, be physical, and has plenty of playoff experience. He also has a salary cap-friendly contract at $1.45 million this season and next season. Mayfield has recorded 120 blocked shots and 118 hits in 51 playoff games. Adding a defenseman that gives you stats like that while also playing close to 20 minutes a game and making less than $2 million is a steal.
Toronto will make a trade or two at the deadline. We can only hope that this season’s additions to the team help them make it past the first round. Whether you agree with my choices or not, it is clear that Toronto needs fixing on their bottom-six forward group and defense. Fingers crossed that everything Kyle Dubas ends up doing will work out.