Trade Rumor: Toronto Maple Leafs Looking to Ship Out a Forward

Trade Rumor: Toronto Maple Leafs Looking to Ship Out a Forward (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Trade Rumor: Toronto Maple Leafs Looking to Ship Out a Forward (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs recent actions may not have been obvious but they may have been meaningful.

While the Toronto Maple Leafs have been playing very well, there is some suspicion behind recent movement on the bench.

Coach Sheldon Keefe has been tinkering with his bottom two lines during games.

This didn’t go unnoticed by NHL insider Elliotte Friedman. He was asked about it when he spoke with Jay Rosehill and Nick Alberga on Leafs Morning Talk.

Toronto Maple Leafs Rumours

Friedman first explained that he thinks the team should be looking to upgrade their forwards ahead of the defense.

He may share the same line of thinking as General Manager Kyle Dubas and the Maple Leafs organization. Friedman went on to expound that he believes there is a possibility that Pierre Engvall and Alexander Kerfoot could be casualties of their own salaries, shipped out in order to free up salary cap relief.

"Friedman shared, “The one thing about Dubas is, he will do things like that. I don’t think he’s afraid of things like that. The one thing about Kerfoot in particular, and I have been told this several times, that Keefe really trusts him. Keefe really trusts Kerfoot. If you watch him, he gets put out in situations that you don’t get put out in unless the coach believes you can do a job. And I know the organization listens to Keefe on this kind of thing. They do trust their coach and listen to his opinion.”"

This doesn’t necessarily mean that Kerfoot is untouchable. While Kerfoot may be a player called on by Keefe for various on-ice tasks, he still carries a $3.5 million cap hit. That’s a roadblock for the Toronto Maple Leafs when they look to upgrade their roster. However, to a team who has the space, it’s just a number. What may make Kerfoot appealing to a perspective trade partner is that his $1.95 million in bonuses have already been paid. That makes him far more affordable when speaking about actual cash needing to be paid out.

Kerfoot has also only produced 23 points in 51 games this season. He’s registered 7 goals and 16 assists. It’s far from the level of offense even Keefe would want from the forward.

Engvall has a $2.25 million cap hit. He, just like Kerfoot, is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. With the possibility of him leaving Toronto anyway, Dubas has certainly entertained the idea of replacing Engvall before season’s end, especially if he manages to find an upgrade on the trade market. On the season, Engvall has collected 10 goals and 8 assists in 49 contests.

Next. Leafs Trade Rumors Are Really Heating Up. dark

There is no shortage of quality trade eligible players ahead who have and will continue to draw the interest of the Maple Leafs before the NHL trade deadline. Important decisions will need to be made, but it shouldn’t shock anyone if Kerfoot or Engvall finish the season on a different club.