What are the Toronto Maple Leafs Needs for the Trade Deadline?

What work is left for the Leafs to do to make their roster the best possible one heading into the playoff run?

Feb 15, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; The Toronto Maple Leafs players celebrate the win
Feb 15, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; The Toronto Maple Leafs players celebrate the win / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

As winners in nine of their past eleven games, the Toronto Maple Leafs appear to be rounding into form heading into the stretch run as they aim to lock in a playoff spot, or perhaps even more.

However, as good as they have been, that doesn’t mean the Toronto Maple Leafs should remain status quo for the trade deadline, which is rapidly approaching this Friday, March 8th.

For any contending team, this is usually the most important time of the year to make that last one or few moves to help bolster the roster for the playoff run.

With that in mind, what are the Leafs remaining needs that they should address at the deadline?

What are the Toronto Maple Leafs Needs for the Trade Deadline?

Another Defenseman or Two?

With the way the Leafs defense had been going down like flies, especially after almost seeing Ilya Lyubuskin suffer the same fate in his first game after joining the team, it’s a no-brainer that they should at least consider some insurance defensive depth by Friday.

They probably don’t need to swing for the fences for a top-pairing defenseman, but probably some legitimate candidate(s) that could potentially fill a bottom-four role would be ideal.

A Starting or Backup Goalie?

After seeing both Joseph Woll and Ilya Samsonov miss some significant time with the team this season for various reasons, it makes sense that the Leafs should ensure they have another goalie that can step in and play consistent, top notch hockey.

If they don’t truly believe Martin Jones can be the one, then the pursuit of a goalie should be on their checklist as well. The key though is whether they should just get an insurance goalie like how they did three years ago with David Rittich, who didn’t end up really playing any game of significance.

In that case, they might as well stick with Jones if there aren’t any attractive options. Or should they go all out and acquire a number one goaltender, which will likely need some regulars on the roster go the other way or have some massive salary retention from multiple teams? If the Leafs really think this is their year, then there’s no question what the right move should be.

A Bruising Forward?

Finally, aside from a defenseman, it just seems like every year the Leafs are looking for a rugged, tough forward that would fit well for playoff hockey.

They tried to push it with Colin Blackwell two years ago, and then of course with gritty Noel Acciari last season to mixed results. Acciari did provide that much-needed punishment to the opposition with his thunderous hits, but his overall offensive production left a lot to be desired.

The Leafs appear to have their four lines all working great as of this moment, but if they can add a bruiser that can also generate some offense at the same time, that should round out their bottom two lines for a strong overall, four-line attack.

manual

It’s highly unlikely all of these will be addressed at the trade deadline, but if the Leafs can at least pull one out of the hat or two, it should probably be enough to make them strong contenders for the playoffs once again this season.