The Toronto Maple Leafs are keeping a close eye on the calendar. They know that the March 3 NHL trade deadline is quickly approaching.
In hopes of seeing the team improve heading to the postseason, Toronto Maple Leafs fans are eager to see the franchise make a big moves.
It would be wise to improve their chances of not only going on a deep playoff run but actually winning the Stanley Cup.
With the trade deadline just over a month away, rumors are starting to circulate about potential trades that the Maple Leafs could make to bolster their roster.
One of the most recent players whose name has been floated is Timo Meier. If GM Kyle Dubas is looking to add production, then Meier may be exactly who they need. Playing on an expiring $6 million contract, the San Jose Sharks winger will be a restricted free agent at season’s end.
So far this season, Meier has recorded 27 goals and 20 assists in 48 games. The package the Leafs would need to give San Jose for Meier would be significant. They would also be looking at giving the 26-year-old a pay raise when he negotiates his next contract.
Ryan O’Reilly’s name has been swirling around the Maple Leafs by hockey media and their insiders almost all season long. It’s not surprising as the former Stanley Cup winner will be an unrestricted free agent on a sinking team.
O’Reilly has proven that he doesn’t back down when the games matter most. His Conn Smythe Trophy is evidence of it. The St. Louis Blues captain has also won the Selke and Lady Byng Trophy. Even though his offense has taken a dip this season, he still has a lot to offer both in the dressing room and on the ice for Toronto.
The Chicago Blackhawks are almost guaranteed to have a fire sale this season. Without a spot in the playoffs, the best that that franchise can do is acquire young players and prospects for the players who still have value in the NHL. One of those players is defenseman Jake McCabe.
McCabe’s name was floated because of Jake Muzzin’s injury. With it looking more and more like the Leafs have lost him for the remainder of the campaign, Dubas may look to McCabe to fill that hole. Adding McCabe as a left shot defenseman who eats a lot of minutes in Chicago might be even more valuable for the Leafs since he still has two more seasons left on his contract with a value of $4 million AAV.
In the same search for Muzzin’s replacement, Vladislav Gavrikov has appeared to be a potential answer. The Columbus Blue Jackets defender is 27-years-old, and just like McCabe, he plays on the left-side top pairing for his club. The best part of a Gavrikov acquisition isn’t just his frame at 6’3″, 213 lbs, but that he’s playing on just a $2.8 million AAV.
The Toronto Maple Leafs could improve their already impressive offense if they’re able to add the Anaheim Ducks dynamic forward, Troy Terry. With 12 goals and 26 assists so far this season, Terry isn’t having as big of an impact as Meier, but he is showing off his skills on a nightly basis.
Terry may be the rental Dubas really wants up front thanks to his incredible hockey IQ and $1.45 million cap hit.
It remains to be seen who the Maple Leafs acquire by the trade deadline. But, based on all the names circulating, it should be a fun ride to March 3.