The Maple Leafs have been struggling recently and it has left fans wanting a change, a big change.
With the Feb 26th deadline looming there is multiple assets that the Maple Leafs could be interested in, with a majority of their bottom 6 being expendable. Although we may not want to hear it as a large portion of Leafs nation draws attached to certain players almost all of our bottom 6 is available for upgrade or assets.
Brown, Gauthier, Lindholm are the most common names brought up as potential trading chips but with further examination there is some higher end assets.
Nazem Kadri : 2 years remaining at 4.5M, is someone the Leafs may not be able to afford after the new contracts are rewarded to the likes of Marner & Matthews.
Jake Gardiner: not only have the fans turned on him but despite his poor play as of late his production puts him in a higher class of defenseman which could lead to the leafs not being able to renew him due to financial reasons.
Andreas Johnsson: although he has been productive and a positive note for the leafs, he may be an even better asset as a trading chip.
The Top 3 players the Maple Leafs should trade for:
1. Wayne Simmonds
A player with an attribute the leafs don’t have, Grit. With 5 consecutive 25+ goal seasons ontop of being one of the most hardnosed players in the NHL, Wayne should be at the top of the Maple Leafs ‘Needs’ list.
2. Jake Muzzin
Although the LA Kings announced earlier this week that their asking price for their 6’3 213LB defenseman was a 1st round pick, with the current state of the Maple Leafs defense and lack of grit he may be well worth the price at just a 4M Cap hit for the next year and a half.
3. Micheal Ferland
If you miss out on the Wayne Simmonds sweepstakes Michael Ferland is your guy. With a cap hit of just 1.75M for he would be the perfect rental to add Grit and bottom 6 production. With 13 goals and 25 points in 40 games and a whole lot of toughness he may be the perfect dealine target for the Maple Leafs.
Any one (or two) of these aforementioned additions could be exactly what the Leafs need for a long and successful playoff run.