Matt Dumba's potential move to the Toronto Maple Leafs is gaining traction in the midst of swirling trade rumors, indicating a keen interest from the team in acquiring him.
Despite recurrent discussions about Dumba joining the Toronto Maple Leafs in the past four years, actualizing the trade or signing has proven elusive. Nevertheless, Dumba emerges as a fitting candidate for the team, meeting their various needs.
As a right-shot defenseman with an affordable contract ( $3.9M AAV – 2024 UFA) and a penchant for physical play, Dumba appears to check all the boxes.
Rather than gauging the market, GM Brad Treliving swiftly secured John Klingberg with a $4.15M contract on July 1st. This move, made on the very first day of free agency, was met with skepticism by many, including myself, even before Klingberg hit the ice. Now, Treliving has an opportunity for redemption by potentially swapping Klingberg's contract to Arizona for Dumba, a move that seems more logical in hindsight.
The Toronto Maple Leafs Should Trade for Matt Dumba
Financially, Arizona appears to be an ideal trade partner, and given their trajectory toward missing the playoffs, acquiring assets for an impending UFA like Dumba would be a strategic move for them.
Dumba, who was a 50 point offensive defenseman earlier in his career, primarily brings a blend of intelligence and physicality to the ice. While TJ Brodie has occupied the top pairing alongside Morgan Rielly, Dumba's skill set could potentially make him a better fit for that role.
Mark Giordano, despite contributing significantly over the past two years, seems to be transitioning into a role as a situational player rather than an everyday defenseman. This realization positions him as a solid seventh defenseman, allowing Dumba's addition to reshape the lineup and potentially elevate others.
Dumba has long felt like a player destined for the Leafs, and the ongoing link between him and the team signals positive prospects. While acknowledging that his addition won't instantly transform the Leafs into Stanley Cup favorites, it represents a step in the right direction.
As the trade season unfolds with a myriad of rumors, there's a tangible possibility that the Dumba-to-Leafs trade might materialize. His potential arrival is anticipated to resonate well with the city and swiftly establish him as a fan favorite.
The Toronto Maple Leafs defense doesn't have a lot of depth, and at the worst, Dumba is an upgrade over Mark Giordano, and should he find his game, could offer quite a bit more than that.