This week we are looking at forwards the Toronto Maple Leafs should acquire which has included Boone Jenner from the Columbus Blue Jackets, Adam Henrique from the Anaheim Ducks and Sean Monahan from the Montreal Canadiens.
What each of these players have in common is there is a strong chance that they get traded, but there is another player that Toronto Maple Leafs should at least kick tires on and see if there is even a possibility that the Pittsburgh Penguin and legend Sidney Crosby would part ways.
Overdrive's Bryan Hayes joined Jay Onrait last week and brought up the idea of the Penguins trading Crosby; and to be honest it is an intriguing thought.
Not realistic one, maybe, but still fun to think about.
Could the Maple Leafs go after Penguins Superstar?
The Penguins are in a scenario where they missed the playoffs last year and are at risk to miss it for the second consecutive season with aging superstars on their team. As the All-Star Break has now come upon us, Pittsburgh is currently sitting five points behind the Flyers for third place in the Metropolitan Division, albeit with four games in hand.
General Manager and President Kyle Dubas needs to make a decision soon if the team is a buyer or a seller as the club has 40-goal man Jake Guentzel as a pending unrestricted free agent this summer. What could be troubling for the organization is Dubas goes for the playoffs, misses, loses Guentzel for nothing and then sees the Penguins age one more year into their late 30s.
It is a tough situation for Dubas, so GM Brad Treliving needs to make a phone call to see if there is a chance that the team can acquire Crosby. First there has to be the opportunity and that decision will lie with the future Hall of Famer, which if he were to decide, you'd expect the Penguins grant Crosby his decision on where to go and that choice would have to be Toronto. Treliving would have to convince Crosby that Ontario's capital is more appealing that going to play with close friend Nathan MacKinnon in Colorado or joining this generations supertar Connor McDavid in Edmonton.
Crosby is still producing over what his contract is paying
Sid the Kid is no longer a kid as he is playing in his age 36 year, but is still having one of the top offensive seasons in NHL history of any player at that age. Crosby currently has 27-goals and 50-points through 46 games which puts him on pace for 48 goals and 89 points.
The Nova Scotia native is in year 11 of a 12 year deal he signed way back on July 1, 2012 that carries a cap hit of $8.7 Million. While Crosby gives more value than what his cap hit has on it, the Maple Leafs would still need to get the Penguins to take on 50%.
While the three other players that we have looked at would fit into the third line center role and potentially be able to slide up if needed, Crosby would immediately jump into the top six. He would force Tavares over to the wing and potentially give the team two high end powerplay units where they could split up the group.
Crosby is still averaging over 20-minutes a night, is a king on the face-off and still the most intelligent player in the league.
While it was pre salary cap era, in 2003-04, the Toronto Maple Leafs loaded up on future Hall of Famers by bringing in Joe Nieuwendyk, Ron Francis and Brian Leetch throughout the season; it is time for the team to go all in and bring in an even bigger name than those three.