The Toronto Maple Leafs are on the clock; like the rest of the league, the trade deadline will come and go on Monday. For that reason, the Maple Leafs Lounge, brought to you by The Hockey Writers, gathered for a special deadline edition. This virtual platform brings writers together from across Leafs’ Nation to discuss stories they’ve posted, comments they’ve received, and ideas they are putting together.
The writer’s discussed the current roster makeup to try to predict what Kyle Dubas might do at the deadline. Frederik Andersen was retroactively added to the long-term injured reserve list. Toronto added Riley Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets, who was also placed on LTIR. These moves resulted in Dubas having more than $7.5 million to spend at the deadline.
Unfortunately, no one outside of the Maple Leafs knows the situation with Andersen. Sheldon Keefe has said two things on that front, there is no timeline of his return, and when asked if he was worried Andersen is out for the season, he said he is not concerned. I suggested Linus Ullmark because he is the only goalie we know Toronto has inquired about and done due diligence. However, it is now reported that the Buffalo Sabres are working on a long-term deal with the young netminder. Peter Baracchini revisited his idea of Darcy Kuemper coming to Toronto. Simultaneously, Alex Hobson doesn’t think the Maple Leafs will add a goalie, believing Andersen will be back for the playoffs.
There is no doubt that every team would like to improve the blue line or even add some depth for a deep playoff run. Toronto’s weakest link has been identified as Travis Dermott. His ice time has been reduced, and a shutdown partner to match up with Zach Bogosian is needed. I suggested Jamie Oleksiak from the Dallas Stars, “the dude is a monster, 6-foot-8 like a Chara kind of guy. You saw him in the playoffs last year; he doesn’t care about goals or assists; he just cares about knocking somebody off the puck at the blue line. He is only worth $2.17 million, so I think Toronto could make a deal to get Oleksiak in the blue and white.
Hobson agreed with me about the addition of Oleksiak but also put another defender who is under the radar. “I think Matt Roy (Los Angeles Kings) would be a good option. He is a very solid bottom pairing defenseman. He plays a very stable defensive game,” said Hobson.
“The top-six seems pretty much intact, especially with how Galchenyuk has been playing,” answered Barachinni when asked what he would with the forwards. However, there is a guy on his watch list, “I wrote about Scott Laughton from the Philadelphia Flyers. I thought with his energy, his presence to be a penalty killer, his ability to get on the forecheck, just that energy presence they need.” Hobson and I were on the Nick Foligno bandwagon, suggesting Dubas brings the Blue Jackets captain to the team that his dad played for in the 1990s.
Wild Trade Ideas
We wanted to have some fun and suggest the wildest, craziest trades that would shock the hockey world. There were no rules, no limits and no common sense required behind these ideas.
Hobson kicked off the anything-goes trades with a wild one that would bring the number 1 and number 2 picks from the 2016 draft together. “I’m just picturing absolute chaos, putting Liane on the top of the circle on the powerplay and then Matthews on the other side. For all the times we compared Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine to capitalize on him, bring him to Toronto for this final Cup run in this season under wild circumstances, I think that would be a helluva trade. I don’t think the media would be able to handle it. That is my absolute wild trade idea.”
Baracchini was still shocked over Hobson’s trade idea, “I don’t know if I could top that.” Perhaps a bit more realistic, Barrachini suggested Jaden Schwartz. “I think putting him in the top six, he still is a good set up man he has good speed, still has a good shot.”
I went with a ground shaker, “Carey Price to Toronto, just to give it to Montreal. I don’t care if he plays a game, but he is in a Leafs jersey; if they happen to win a Cup, he wins it with the Leafs, and all of those Habs fans would lose their minds.” Hobson liked the idea and thought it was worth pursuing. At the same time, Baracchini is concerned with the number of enemies I may have made with that wild idea.
Now that our predictions, some sensible, some outlandish, are on the record, leave your comments below with your ideas. We are looking for your thoughts on how the team after the deadline. Same rules for the wild ideas, no limits, and no common sense required. We may discuss them on next week’s Maple Leafs Lounge.
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.