Should the Toronto Maple Leafs Trade for Rumored Defensemen?
With Jake Muzzin and T.J. Brodie out of the lineup, the Toronto Maple Leafs could turn to the trade market to improve their team.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have been dealt a blow with the recent news about Jake Muzzin. He will remain on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) and get re-evaluated in late February. Losing Muzzin means the team loses a leader on the ice and a defenseman who can play plenty of minutes.
T.J. Brodie will miss a minimum of two weeks with an oblique injury. Although this is not as serious of a blow as Muzzin, it still sucks to have Brodie out of the lineup. He has been a dependable defenseman for head coach Sheldon Keefe since Toronto signed him in 2020.
Toronto general manager Kyle Dubas doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to make a deal, but he wouldn’t be doing his job if he wasn’t checking to see what is available. The team seems confident with its current group of Morgan Rielly, Timothy Liljegren, Mark Giordano, Rasmus Sandin, Justin Holl, and Jordie Benn.
Toronto Maple Leafs Could Trade for Defensive Help
In his article on the fourthperiod.com from November 14th, David Pagnotta mentions four defenseman the Leafs are rumored to have interest in.
Theye are: Kevin Shattenkirk, Luke Schenn, Carson Soucy, and Vlad Gavrikov. There is no telling how strong Dubas’ interest in these players is, but he will not make a deal unless he thinks it will help the team.
Here is a little background/opinion on each player:
Shattenkirk has five assists in 14 games this season for the dreadful Anaheim Ducks. He is averaging almost 17 minutes of ice time per game and has one year left on his contract with a $3.9 million cap hit. The 33-year-old is currently on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.
He’s an aging offensive defenseman who doesn’t provide anything the Leafs don’t’ already have in abundance. It is probably not worth pursing Shattenkirk, especially considering his age and contract.
Schenn is in the final year of his contract with an $850,000 cap hit. The 33-year-old currently has seven points in 17 games for the Vancouver Canucks. He is averaging over 17 minutes a game and brings a ton of physicality.
You could do a lot worse for a fill-in player. Plus he was originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs. I say go for it.
Soucy has registered four points in 16 games for the Seattle Kraken this season. He is in the final year of his current contract with a $2.75 million cap hit. The 28-year-old is averaging close to 17 minutes a game and uses his big 6’5, 210Lbs frame effectively.
His numbers aren’t great, but he’s huge and he would bring a dimension the Leafs don’t have much of.
Gavrikov is a 6’3, 213Lbs brute that can play for over 20 minutes a game. He currently has four points in 15 games and is in the final year of his current contract. The contract has a $2.8 million cap hit. Gavrikov is the youngest of the bunch at 26 years old.
Like Soucy and Schenn, Gavrikov is a big guy who can play rough and who isn’t known as much of a puck mover.
Schenn is the cheapest, Gavrikov is the youngest, but with three such similar players in rumours at the same time, it’s clear that the Leafs are looking for this sort of player, which means there is at least a decent shot one of these three ends up in a Leafs uniform.