4 Players the Toronto Maple Leafs Should Trade As Soon As Possible

Toronto Maple Leafs v Vancouver Canucks
Toronto Maple Leafs v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages
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No. 3: Ryan Reaves

The acquisition of Ryan Reaves sparked excitement among fans, until it was discovered that the team signed the enforcer to a three-year deal at $1.3M AAV.

Enforcers of Reaves' age typically don't secure multi-year deals, especially when their effectiveness and goal-scoring capabilities are in decline. The decision to extend Reaves for three years seemed unconventional and, in hindsight, has proven to be a terrible decision.

Reaves' performance in the first half of the season did not meet expectations, and he found himself on the Injured Reserve, despite being reportedly recovered. The Leafs eventually reinstated him to the roster, but the circumstances surrounding his time on the IR raised eyebrows, leading to speculation about the team's intentions.

Considering the less-than-ideal start and the puzzling contract duration, it has become evident that the Ryan Reaves experiment has not panned out as expected. The Leafs now face the challenge of finding a solution to move his contract. While it may be a difficult task given Reaves' performance and the terms of his deal, exploring options, even if it involves offering a seventh-round pick or a lower-tier prospect, could be a necessary step.

The $1.3 million committed to Reaves could potentially be reallocated to address other roster needs, making it imperative for the Leafs to reassess this situation. The prospect of Reaves being effective in the 2025-26 season seems dubious, prompting scrutiny of the decision-making process led by Treliving. Moving forward, the Leafs need to carefully evaluate their roster decisions to ensure that contracts align with player performance and team objectives.