What Can the Toronto Maple Leafs Pick From the Canucks’ Carcass?
With the Vancouver Canucks’ in disarray, now might be a very opportune time for the Toronto Maple Leafs to pounce and see what their roster has to offer.
The Canucks tried to avoid rebuilding, and they don’t have the roster for it. They need to clean house, and there should be some good players available for the Toronto Maple Leafs and other contenders willing to pony up.
The likes of Bo Horvat, Andrei Kuzmenko and Luke Schenn are all on expiring deals that’ll see them become unrestricted free agents this summer.
Likewise, they have Nils Hoglander, Ethan Bear and Travis Dermott among their restricted free agents set to expire.
When the Canucks are committed to paying a combined $13.26 million to Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Tyler Myers for at least 2 more years (per CapFriendly), you can see why there’s a possibility to make a deal.
Much like the market the Toronto Maple Leafs play in, the Canucks find their decision-making firmly under the microscope. Any deal they make would likely upset their fan base and end up the fodder of talk radio for weeks.
As such, you have to imagine that they would look to tread especially carefully and while Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes are likely untouchable, everyone else may be fair game.
This team was expecting to be competitive in the Pacific Division this season, especially with Bruce Boudreau at the helm and some exciting summer additions.
Instead, they languish in 6th place in their division with a 4-7-3 record and points percentage of 0.393% – this isn’t how it was meant to be.
The good news is that the Toronto Maple Leafs have had recent dealings with Vancouver and indeed with their President of Hockey Operations, Jim Rutherford; the latter of which famously oversaw the Phil Kessel trade to Pittsburgh. Kyle Dubas and Rutherford have hooked up on several deals in the past, and this could be conductive the Leafs and Canucks making a deal.
The Leafs have Jake Muzzin’s cap space to play with, as he’s likely not coming back. They also have the options to move Kerfoot, and Holl for another five million. The Leafs have flexibility to make a move if they want to.