So far the Leafs have added four impact players and sacrificed much of their future.
There is no time like the present, so might as well go all-in if you've gone this far.
The Leafs - after the previous trades - have an incredible lineup, they just need another defenseman, preferably a right handed one.
The answer here is to go old-school, and trade for 34 year old John Carlson. He's currently having a decent season, he's still valuable offensively and he doesn't hurt you defensively.
Carlson is right handed, 34, and probably pretty cheap to acquire. In fact, he would probably be damn near free.
That is because he makes $8 million for the next two seasons after this. Yes, it's a horrendous contract, but if you want to win you have got to get creative. The Leafs already spent all their assets in the previous two trades I made up.
Washington would give you a 50% retained Carlson for a player to be named later. They just want out of the contract, they don't care. Maybe it costs some future 4th rounder. No one else is going to just come along and save them $8-12 million dollars.
To facilitate the $4 million cap hit, the Leafs have to send Max Domi and Ryan Reaves to Washington.
Later they might have to pay someone to take Carlson, but worry about that then. For now, it's about winning the cup and adding John Carlson for free would be amazing.
He is a great puck mover and the Leafs desperately need that. I realize, as I write this, that people will mock the fact that I am suggesting trading for an $8 million dollar 34 year old.
I know that it's a weird idea. But the thing is, the Leafs don't have a ton of assets to move nor do they have a ton of cap space. By finding a player that meets all their needs - right handed D, top four, puck mover - and getting him for free, the Leafs solve the problem of how to build their team with limited resources.
In the future, you can send a draft pick to a team that is tanking in order to get out of the contract.
Now let's check out what the new and improved Toronto Maple Leafs look like.