Upcoming Schedule a Barometer for Leafs as Trade Deadline Nears

The next 16 games will help determine what kind of team the Toronto Maple Leafs are.

2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas liked to get ahead of the market and make deals before the pressure of the NHL trade deadline arrived.

Current Vancouver Canucks president and former long-time GM, Jim Rutherford has been rightfully praised for doing the same thing. Doing a trade early gives a team more games to acclimate their new addition into the lineup.

Jake Muzzin, Jake McCabe, and Ryan O'Reilly were notable names acquired by Dubas well ahead of the trade deadline.

The problem for current GM Brad Treliving is that most of his summer moves failed to work out, and the Leafs now have way too many holes and problems for a team that is supposed to be competing for the Stanley Cup.

The Leafs needs are pretty clear at this point - goalie, blue-line help, third-line centre, scoring winger and there are 16 games before the March 8th deadline, which gives the GM plenty of time to fix his team's problems.

Upcoming Schedule a Barometer for Leafs as Trade Deadline Nears

If the Leafs are anywhere close to being a playoff team, they are going to add to their lineup because all of their best players in their primes and there is no chance they will punt on the season, unless the next 16 games are a complete disaster.

A look at the upcoming schedule shows that 10 of those 16 games are at home. To this point, the Leafs have been a much better team on the road.


That needs to change if they want to be taken seriously. Your arena should be a place that is uncomfortable or fearful for the opposition. That hasn't been the case and the Leafs need to change that narrative.

The opponents over the next month include a sprinkling of serious Cup contenders. The Leafs will face the defending champion Vegas Golden Knights twice, along with single games against the Dallas Stars, Colorado Avalanche, and New York Rangers.

They also play non-contenders like the Ottawa Senators, Anaheim Ducks, and Buffalo Sabres.

March 4th and March 7th will see the Leafs play a home and home against the first-place, Atlantic Division rival Boston Bruins.

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As it stands right now, this year's version of the Maple Leafs is not good enough. They could already be out of the playoff picture if not for some very fortunate results that perhaps they didn't necessarily deserve. The Leafs are good enough with just their core to go far in the playoffs if they get good goaltending, but if they want to be favorites and give themselves the best chance to win, they are going to need to make several additions between now and March 8th.