The Toronto Maple Leafs are rumored to be interested in trading for Chicago Blackhawks defenseman, Jake McCabe.
With all signs pointing towards Jake Muzzin never playing another game with the Toronto Maple Leafs this year, they’ve decided to shift their attention to another defenseman named Jake.
The Blackhawks are a terrible team this year and should do everything in their power to finish dead-last in the standings. Connor Bedard is a generational talent and it would be dumb for Chicago not to give themselves the best odds at drafting him.
After winning three Stanley Cups in a short window, the Blackhawks have barely been a playoff team since, so it’s time for a rebuild. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have been the sexy names on the trade black in Chicago, but that would be a pipe-dream for the Leafs.
In a perfect, non salary-cap world, Kane or Toews would be a game-changer for the playoff-run, but we all know that’s not going to happen.
Instead, it looks like they’re looking at one of Chicago’s top-pairing defenseman in McCabe.
According to Frank Seravalli, Toronto has “legitimate interest in McCabe,” despite having two more seasons left on his contract at $4M AAV. When you think of the Leafs priorities, I’d think they’d prefer to trade for a rental, but Kyle Dubas has always preferred trading for a player with term.
Toronto Maple Leafs Interested in Jake McCabe
Here’s a quote from Seravalli about the McCabe rumors:
"“Interestingly enough, I think they’ve had some interest in him going back a ways. Here’s where it gets interesting from a Toronto perspective: What if you can entice the Chicago Blackhawks, who have tons of cap space, to retain half on Jake McCabe, and get him at $2-million a year for each of the next two years?He’s probably already playing at a $4-million level right now. Yes, there’s risk in injury history, there’s risk with any player. But at $2-million a year, that gives you some serious cost-certainty at a time when the Leafs really need it on the back-end.” (via: Leafs Morning Take)"
If Toronto can convince Chicago to retain $2M per year, that would be huge for the Leafs, as they’re always going to be a salary-cap strapped team.
The left-shot defenseman would be a welcomed addition to Toronto’s blue-line, as they desperately need to upgrade it if they’re going to be a serious Stanley Cup contender. The group is good right now, but they need Jake Muzzin to return or to trade for someone with a similar skillset, like Jake McCabe.
Expect the Chicago Blackhawks to continue to come up in trade rumors over the next six weeks as they look to unload most of their roster to guarantee a high draft-pick this summer.