Toronto Maple Leafs Should be Willing to Trade Knies, Minten, Cowen and Woll

Feb 24, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) makes a
Feb 24, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) makes a / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs have eight days or less to improve their team ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline.

The list of things the Toronto Maple Leafs need to become the top team in the NHL - which you assume is their goal - is long and probably not attainable in its entirity thanks to a rough summer by incoming GM Brad Treliving.

While I agree that the Leafs shouldn't be trading one of their best assets for a washed up 34 year old defensive defenseman (not even in their top-three of biggest needs) everything they have should be on the table.

For the right price.

Toronto Maple Leafs Should be Willing to Trade Knies, Minten, Cowen and Woll

The Toronto Maple Leafs should be after, in this order, the following things: 1. Elite Goalie or 1B an improvement of Samsonov 2. An Elite Defender or 2B A high-end puck mover 3. A number-one centre to play on the third or second line. 4. A second pairing defenseman, preferably a strong puck-mover.

Obviously, an elite goalie and an elite defenseman may not be available to them, in which case they should definitely be cautions about what they give up.

However, if those things are available, they should throw caution to the wind.

Seriously. How often do you have a potential 70 goal scorer in your lineup? How many prime years do the Matthews and Marner combo have? It doesn't matter if Easton Cowen grows up to be a superstar if he can help bring a Stanley Cup this year by being included in a trade.

Matthew Knies, Joseph Woll, Easton Cowen, Fraser Minten, Topi Niemela, Nick Robertson and every single draft pick at their disposal should be on the table in order to purue Juuse Saros and whoever the best defenseman available happens to be.

If the Leafs can combine Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner with an elite defenseman for the first time in their careers, they will be shocked by the results. Same thing goes for them getting an actual franchise goalie.

You can win without those things, but you're just playing the lottery. If you combine two of the best players alive (Matthews and Marner) with an actual elite defenseman and an elite goalie, you will be unstoppable.

Let's look no further into the past as Tampa Bay's recent back-to-back Cup wins. They got extremely unlucky the year before they won or they likely would have had a threepeat. The combination of Kucherov-Point with Victor Hedman and Andrei Vasilevskiy was infallable. Image what Matthews and Marner could do with whoever the 2024 equivelants of Vasilevskiy and Hedman are.

I'm not saying they should go out of their way to trade Matthew Knies, I'm just saying that if there is a scenario where you can land a franchise player at one of the positions you are weak at, you have to explore it. This is why I personally would have explored trading Nylander even though he's my favorite player - he was the team's best path to an elite defender.

The team as constructed is so good it just one seven in a row with basically no depth in their lineup and several truly bad players on their roster. That's how good the core is.


There should be no limits or reservations about what they can spend to add an elite defenseman or goalie to this lineup. The rarity of a Matthews in his prime demands it.