Now that Josh Manson is off the board, the Toronto Maple Leafs will have to go shopping for a different right-handed defenseman.
Goaltending is the biggest issue for the Toronto Maple Leafs right now, but you can never have too many defensemen.
Prior to getting traded to the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night, many thought that Josh Manson was on his way to becoming a future Leaf. At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, the internet and many NHL insiders connected Manson to Toronto, for the past two seasons.
Although Toronto’s philosophy under Kyle Dubas has been to acquire as much skill as possible and more defensemen that can get the puck out of the zone quickly, the idea of adding Manson made some sense.
As previously mentioned, Toronto is a team that built off skill. They don’t have a ton of players who hit or fight and many Leafs fans think you need that. Personally, I’d tend to agree with most Leafs fans from that point of view, however you want to find a player who can do both.
The Avalanche traded away a top-tier defensive prospect and second-round prospect. When you’re a team that’s gunning for the Stanley Cup, that doesn’t seem like a big deal. However, from a Leafs point of view, that would be like them essentially trading Topi Niemelä and a second-round pick for Manson.
Toronto isn’t dumb enough to make that trade, because Manson isn’t going to be someone that’s the defining factor in winning a Stanley Cup.
The Leafs should look to add another depth defenseman but it shouldn’t come at the price of what Colorado paid for the Avalanche, unless they’re getting a legit top-four defenseman with term.
Here are three players that Toronto could still be targeting.