Welcome to my new series ‘2022 Offseason Trade Targets’ where we’ll examine several teams the Toronto Maple Leafs could be interested in doing business with this summer. From minor moves to blockbuster deals, I’ll cover them all as we dive into some potential trade options for general manager (GM) Kyle Dubas.
After showcasing a couple of players on the Vancouver Canucks who would fit in nicely for the Maple Leafs, let’s stay in western Canada and examine the Calgary Flames’ talent to see who could potentially help in Toronto next season.
While the Flames have over $26 million in cap space to work with this summer, Flames GM Brad Treliving is in tough to bring everyone back. The likes of Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau are top priorities and frankly need to be back. Both players produced as expected this season and have done enough in their time with the franchise to prove they are the core of the team. Treliving would not be wise to let either of them walk or be traded over a contract dispute. Andrew Mangiapane, on the other hand, could become available and if so, should be a player the Maple Leafs target.
The Toronto, ON native appeared in all 82 regular-season games in 2021-22, sniping 35 goals and producing 55 total points. Surprisingly, he ranked 12th on the team in total ice-time per game last season and could play a much bigger role with the Maple Leafs. The 26-year-old is a restricted free agent and while an offer sheet is unlikely at this point, a trade could materialize. Tkachuk and Gaudreau are going to eat into the majority of the team’s salary cap space and considering the Flames currently have six forwards and four defensemen signed for next season, Calgary’s GM may have no choice but to move Mangiapane to save his team some money.
The Maple Leafs adding Mangiapane to their top-six would be tough for sure, but not impossible. Moving either Jake Muzzin or Alexander Kerfoot in the deal could potentially be a trade that works financially and logically for both sides as Kerfoot would give the Flames some versatility and depth at center. Meanwhile, Muzzin has become expendable in Toronto after Mark Giordano re-signed and Toronto should consider moving the veteran instead of a youngster like Rasmus Sandin.
With Toronto likely losing Ilya Mikheyev this offseason to free agency, there’s going to be a hole on left wing. Whether the organization values prospect Nick Robertson enough to give him regular minutes on the team’s second line with John Tavares and William Nylander is yet to be determined as they have certainly babied him along. Could 2022 be the year everything finally works out for Robertson with the big club? It’s hard to say at this point, but even if he has a role on the team in 2022-23, adding Mangiapane would be a nice replacement if Mikheyev skips town.
When you’re a 6-foot-5 goaltender who makes $750,000 and produced a 2.75 goals-against average in 23 games you’re likely someone who your organization wants to keep in the mix, but if Daniel Vladar is available out of Calgary, expect Dubas to be interested. Toronto’s GM is trying to move Petr Mrazek before free agency begins July 13 and at the moment, extension talks with Jack Campbell aren’t going anywhere. The Maple Leafs legitimately could be in the market for two new goaltenders this offseason and Vladar would certainly be an option.
The Maple Leafs have Joseph Woll and Erik Kallgren who are pressing for more playing time, but is that really enough? No, it really isn’t and adding someone like Vladar provides more depth and would be a solid backup to whoever Dubas ends up landing for his starting gig.
Calgary will be hesitant, there’s no doubt about that, as starter Jacob Markstrom was horrible during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, this coming after one of the best regular seasons in franchise history. The only way Calgary moves Vladar is if they are totally comfortable with Markstrom moving forward and they are able to land a veteran to back him up. Dubas and the Maple Leafs will be in tough to make a deal work here, but it’s an option and a goaltender who should be a prime target if things go south with the Campbell negotiations.
Toronto and Calgary match up nicely as trade partners. Opposite conferences help, relevant talent helps and both GMs have their hands full of major decisions this summer, which could leave them in a spot to pull the trigger on a deal. Roster makeup can be a domino effect and the contract negotiations of Tkachuk, Gaudreau and Campbell will have a direct impact on any trades between these two hockey clubs.
Shane covers any and everything to do with the Toronto Maple Leafs & Pittsburgh Penguins. A constant contributor to the THW family, his passion and unique perspective on the game results in some diverse content. Certainly versatile, you can also find him contributing at NHLTradeRumors.me, BaseballRumors.me & BBallRumors.com. Follow along on Twitter @ShugMcSween