Why the Maple Leafs Should Give Kieffer Bellows a Look in the NHL

Detroit Red Wings v Philadelphia Flyers
Detroit Red Wings v Philadelphia Flyers / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

One of the top stories this season for the Toronto Maple Leafs is the lack of depth scoring throughout the lineup.

With Matthews having a monster season the Toronto Maple Leafs need to find a way to provide some support to him and the core four.

Another big topic of discussion as the trade deadline looms is how the Maple Leafs don't have a lot of assets they want to move. If you have been following the rumours around the Leafs it looks as though Brad Treliving has been focused on bringing in one defenceman and a middle six forward.

So with all these needs and limited assets how do the Leafs address these issues?

I think an answer not everybody is looking at is internal replacements. Kieffer Bellows is a guy who has been playing well for the Marlies all year. He has played 39 games, scored 19 goals and 15 assists for 34 points (Stats from HockeyDB.com). The former first-round pick is an option that won't cost the Leafs any assets, has NHL experience and is a no-risk option that they can try.

How Can the Maple Leafs Make it Work?

As of right now, the Maple Leafs have Kieffer Bellows on an AHL deal. If they want to give him a shot they would need to sign him to an NHL deal which would require him to pass through waivers. I don't think that will be a concern for the Leafs considering nobody signed him to a deal while he was on a PTO with the Marlies.

This would also fill a contract slot for the Leafs who are currently using 47 of their 50 contract slots. While the contract slots aren't an issue right now the Leafs do have all 23 roster spots filled so it would require sending somebody down to the minors (All contract stats from CapFriendly.com).

Bellows has had mediocre stats in the NHL while playing for both the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers in the past. While I know his history in the NHL the Maple Leafs have nothing to lose by signing this player out of the Marlies. When you're struggling for depth scoring like this team is, you have to try everything to correct it. This is a no-risk option for the Leafs that won't cost you any assets.


This is just an option for Treliving. I wrote just over a week ago the Leafs shouldn't go all in at the deadline but if Treliving decides he is going to, he needs to pick up a defenceman as well as a middle six forward. The problem with trying to pull off this deal is that every report is the Leafs don't want to part with their top assets. Bellows is something that is worth trying and if it doesn't work out, you can send him back down to the AHL.