The Toronto Maple Leafs are on the verge of being the NHL’s best team.
The Toronto Maple Leafs currently sit seventh overall in the NHL standings (by points, or points percentage) and have designs on winning the Stanley Cup.
In my opinion, the Leafs should be looking to add an elite player, regardless of what position he plays.
That seems obvious, but the vast majority of deadline moves are for depth players, or players who the team hopes to see rebound from a bad season/situation/slump/injury.
The player the Leafs should target is elite. He could possibly be elite defensively, but is definitely an elite scorer.
He is a centre, and would give them an excellent 1-2-3 punch down the middle, but offer the flexibility of moving to the wing on a scoring line when goals are needed.
He could also move to the wing, while David Kampf slides up the lineup if the Leafs ever need a shut-down line.
Essentially, he’d offer you all the flexibility of an Alex Kerfoot, but he’s just way better in every way.
Of course I am talking about Bo Horvat.
Toronto Maple Leafs Need Bo Horvat
Bo Horvat is on fire.
He currently has 14 goals in 17 games. We need to ignore that. It’s nice and all, but no one should assume Bo Horvat is going to score 60 goals.
Horvat is a 30 goal scorer currently on a mad hot-streak. Ignore it.
The Leafs don’t want him because he’s on fire. They want the guy who has been a solid 30 goal 60+ point contributor for years, who provides decent defense, awesome leadership, and who is a total playoff-type maniac/warrior who would provide some much needed solidity and reliability to the Leafs forward group.
Horvat is exactly what the Leafs need.
He would give them depth scoring, a player who lets them load up a top line for either offense or defense. Adding him would make them the no-doubt best roster in the NHL.
So what’s it gonna cost?
Unfortunately, a ton.
The player who has the exact qualifications, skills, attitude and abilities that the Leafs need, makes the exact same amount of money as the player they just lost for the season and whose cap hit is suddenly available to spend on an upgrade.
Bo Horvat makes the Toronto Maple Leafs into the NHL’s best team. They might already be that, but with Horvat there is no doubt. I would have no problem paying some kind of ridiculous price to make this happen.
Two firsts, Matthews Knies and Topi Niemela? Well maybe only if he signs an extension (say three years $7 million?). That package is a bit ridiculous, but the point is, I don’t really think the Toronto Maple Leafs could overpay for a player like this.