The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking for a trade and are willing to offer top prospects. Kyle Dubas answered questions from the media for nearly half an hour. The general manager is open to improving all areas of his team but admits the majority of the talk has been around forwards. In this short video, a confident Dubas says he’s ready to make a move and waiting for it to present itself.
Dubas also reminded everyone that despite the pressure to win now, the club will stay the course to be a successful franchise for years, not just one season. Valid or not, Toronto has been tied to several players who are considered to be trade bait. Those names have included two Nashville Predators, defenseman Mattias Ekholm and forward Mikael Granlund. David Savard and Nick Foligno of the Columbus Blue Jackets are another blueliner and forward combination. One more combo would be the Staal brothers, Eric from the Buffalo Sabres and Marc for the Detroit Red Wings.
The trade deadline is less than a month away, on April 12. But for teams in the North Division, it is seemingly much closer due to quarantine rules for people entering Canada. If Toronto got a player currently playing in the U.S. on deadline day, he would not join the team before April 26, missing eight games. The earliest action the player could suit up for the blue and white would be the April 28th match-up with the Montreal Canadiens.
Dubas Likes the Roster Additions
The 35-year-old Dubas was complimentary of improvements he has seen to the defence and has been thrilled by the personalities and leadership new players have brought to the club. The general manager brought in T.J. Brodie, Wayne Simmonds, Zach Bogosian and Joe Thornton during the offseason. He singled out Thornton in particular for his daily hard work and leading by example.
Dubas, who has long been a media darling, looked calm and cool during the interview. We can only imagine what is going on behind that peaceful exterior. Despite Dubas saying the team is sticking to the long-term plan, if this team does not go deep in the playoffs this season, there may be a new plan. He only has a few weeks left to find that last piece to ensure the playoff run happens.
Kevin Armstrong is an award-winning journalist with more than two decades of experience. He’s been rink side for World Juniors, Memorial Cups, Calder Cups and Stanley Cups. Like many Canadian kids, his earliest memories include hockey. Kevin has spent countless hours in arenas throughout the country watching all levels of the game.