The Toronto Maple Leafs will be looking to improve their team ahead of the NHL trade deadline.
One team that the Toronto Maple Leafs might try to trade with is the Anaheim Ducks. Not only have the Leafs and Ducks been frequent trading partners through the year, but the Leafs have long been rumoured to be interested in Ducks players Richard Rackell and Josh Manson.
With the March 21st NHL trade deadline fast approaching, Toronto GM Kyle Dubas is looking to upgrade his defense and add secondary scoring.
While Toronto is a buyer who will be looking to improve, Anaheim is currently outside of the playoffs and could end up being a seller.
According to the trade watch list on thefourthperiod.com, Toronto has an interest in both Rakell and Hampus Lindholm from the Ducks. Being interested and getting a deal done are two very different things. The two teams can get creative and find a way to make a deal happen with multiple players moving both ways. However, the most likely scenario would see Toronto acquire only one of the two players.
Toronto Maple Leafs and Anaheim Ducks
According to the fourth period, the Ducks are linked to defenseman Travis Dermott. Should Toronto sacrifice multiple years of Dermott for the experience, size, and point production of Lindholm? Considering that Toronto is in a “win now” situation, the answer is yes.
If the Toronto Maple Leafs decide to keep defenseman Jake Muzzin on LTIR, trading for Lindholm becomes more likely. However, if the team feels like Muzzin will be healthy enough to return before the end of the regular season, they likely can’t afford him.
With Dermott signed for $1.5 million until the end of next season before becoming an RFA, it is easy to see why Anaheim could be interested. Both Rakell ($3.789 million) and Lindholm ($5.205 million) are pending UFAs this summer. Both would make good rental options for the Toronto Maple Leafs in their quest to find playoff success.
Toronto currently has $3.669 million in cap space but can send a few players down to the AHL to give them more. Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas could have up to $6.8 million in cap space at the trade deadline by doing so. That $6.8 million combined with Dermott’s $1.5 million would give Toronto the ability to bring back a maximum of $8.3 million towards the salary cap.
With Rakell and Lindholm being a combined $8.994 million, a deal is possible as Toronto would be unloading more than just Dermott’s $1.5 million. A deal involving multiple players going each way is highly likely. It is hard to speculate what would need to be sent to Anaheim, as their asking prices for Rakell and Lindholm are unknown.