Mike Jack on What the Toronto Maple Leafs Should Do at the Deadline
The Toronto Maple Leafs top priority should be to add an above average-sized defensive/ two-way, top-four, defenseman that can play the right side.
It would be preferable to get a player with term that they could keep around after this season, but even a rental would do for now.
Of the players involved in recent rumours, Damon Severson from the New Jersey Devils would be my pick of players with term. For UFA’s, I would pick Justin Braun from the Philadelphia Flyers.
Mark Pysyk or Colin Miller from the Buffalo Sabres might be okay too. My out-of-the-box picks would be Jamie Oleksiak or Adam Larsson from the Seattle Kraken.
Both players are signed to great multi-year contracts. Either would fit in great with the Toronto Maple Leafs, especially Oleksiak who is a 6’7 beast. Nobody is talking about them, because they both have full no trade-clauses right now, but they could be willing to waive them to go to a contender especially Oleksiak who is a Toronto boy.
Seattle is willing to trade any of their older players for players that can be part of their future. If the Leafs bring in another defenseman, they would have nine NHL defensemen plus some depth defensemen that could fill in from the AHL, so it might be time to trade either Travis Dermott or Justin Holl.
Depth is always good, but the cap space could be used elsewhere. It may be time for the Toronto Maple Leafs to move on from Petr Mrazek.
His value is low right now, but his $3.8 million cap hit could be used to help the Leafs bring in a more useful player. There will be teams that need a goalie that would be willing to take a chance on Mrazek bouncing back.
The Toronto Maple Leafs don’t necessarily have to get a goaltender to replace Mrazek. Jack Campbell will return to form when he returns from injury. Erik Källgren has been great so far, but the Leafs may want an experienced back-up for insurance.
A James Riemer reunion would be amazing. After bringing in a defenseman (and maybe goalie), the Leafs should use whatever remaining assets and cap space they are willing to part with to fit in the best forward they can get preferably someone who can play left wing. They have depth at forward, but better players are better players.