As we get closer to Christmas, I will take a look at what should be on the Maple Leafs wish list. Maple Leafs general manager (GM) Kyle Dubas might need a Christmas miracle to give his team what they need. Let’s take a look at item number two on his wish list.
The Maple Leafs defense this season has been spotty at best. Cody Ceci has been a total flop for a guy making $4.5 million and playing on the top pair. Jake Muzzin looks uncomfortable and is being outplayed by his defense partner Justin Holl. Let’s take a look at some possible defensemen for GM Kyle Dubas to target.
David Savard (CBJ)
David Savard is 29 years old and is making $4.25 million this season and next. He is about the same size as Ceci at 6 feet 2 inches, but uses his size to be more physical than Ceci. Savard is good at protecting the front of the net and is slightly cheaper than Ceci. It would be good for the Maple Leafs to have a defenseman like Savard who is signed for next season. Only Morgan Rielly is signed for next season leaving lots of question marks about what next season’s defense will look like.
Brayden McNabb is a 28 year old hitting machine. The left shooting defenseman uses his 6 foot 4 inch frame to hit often, he has 106 hits already this season. With a cap hit of just $2.5 million for the next three seasons he would be a nice addition. McNabb is the type of player the Maple Leafs thought they were getting when they traded for Muzzin and he is also two years younger than Muzzin. McNabb would be a good upgrade.
I think it would be too unrealistic to expect the Maple Leafs to be able to trade away both Ceci and Muzzin. The Maple Leafs will need to trade one of them and use their forward depth to upgrade their defense. If a trade is not made before Christmas, I suspect that one will be made not long after the Christmas roster freeze is lifted. The future is bright for our defense with prospects like Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren, but an immediate upgrade is needed for this season.
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