Toronto Maple Leafs Have No Choice but to Trade TJ Brodie

Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to have to trade TJ Brodie.

The Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t going to have a choice.

That is because when they spent $17 million they didn’t have in free-agency there were always going to be consequences.

Now, they are $2 million over the cap and their blue-line is extremely bad.

Toronto Maple Leafs Have No Choice but to Trade TJ Brodie

The Leafs blue-line, as of right now, stinks.

Their most likely top-seven for the upcoming season, as of today, at least, is: Rielly, Brodie, McCabe, Liljegren, Klingberg, Timmins, Giordano.

As of now, they will enter the new NHL season with Connor Timmins who has never been an NHL regular, Mark Giordano who no longer can be, and John Klingberg who may have been the worst player in the entire league last season as three of their top seven defenseman.

That isn’t good.

In addition to that, Moran Rielly is past his peak, TJ Brodie is in decline, Jake McCabe was horrible in the playoffs, and the coach didn’t even want to play Timothy Liljegren.  That isn’t a very inspiring top four.

There is very little upside in their most likely seven regulars. Liljegren and TImmins could technically be late bloomers, but they will almost certainly not be stars, given their ages.

There is a very real possibility the Leafs don’t have a single star defenseman and that is going to make making the playoffs harder than it should be, given the forwards and goalie situations are basically elite.

The Leafs have only two options: go into the season with this horrible blue-line, or move TJ Brodie, Sam Lafferty and Calle Jarnkrok to create enough cap space to add a real improvement.

The John Klingberg signing is completely incompetent, given his lack of upside, his 4 x overpayment, and the fact that Tony DeAngleo was signed for under $2 million.  As if that isn’t bad enough, if they hadn’t signed him they could probably have picked up Erik Karlsson.

Regardless, if the Leafs move the three aforementioned players, they’ll be about $6 million under the cap and have room to make a trade for a star defenseman.

There is also the chance that because of the low quality of the other players, the Leafs can get lucky and someone like Topi Niemela or Mikko Kokkonen can force their way onto the team.

Next. 3 x Potential Stars Still Available. dark

That at least gives them players with upside.  A star player and a rookie in place of Brodie and Giordano would go a long way to making the Leafs blue-line acceptable.  At this point, acceptable is the best they can hope for because right now its’ pretty much garbage.