It is that time of year again when trade rumours begin to swirl. It is no secret that the Maple Leafs would like to upgrade their defense and backup goalie positions. I will take a look at the two latest rumours regarding the Maple Leafs.
Rumour #1: Leafs and Rangers
There have been plenty of rumours this season that the Maple Leafs are interested in the Rangers backup goaltender Alexandar Georgiev. The latest rumour was the Maple Leafs sending Jeremy Bracco to New York for Georgiev. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman shot down that rumour by stating that the Rangers are looking for a National Hockey League (NHL) winger.
The question now is, which winger should the Maple Leafs trade? One would have to assume it is either Kasperi Kapanen or Andreas Johnsson. Both forwards are on salary cap friendly deals with term. Kapanen’s cap hit is $3.2 million a year on a three year deal. Johnsson has a yearly cap hit of $3.4 million on a four year deal. By trading Georgiev away, the Rangers would have just under $3.7 million in cap space. Just enough to fit one of Kapanen or Johnsson onto their roster. Georgiev’s $792,500 would give the Maple Leafs a little more wiggle room with their salary cap.
Possible deal could look like this.
To the Rangers: Andreas Johnsson + 2021 2nd round pick
To the Maple Leafs: Alexandar Georgiev
Rumour #2: Leafs and Sharks
The Maple Leafs major concern right now is upgrading their defense. There have been rumours that the Maple Leafs have talked to the Sharks regarding defenseman Brenden Dillon. Dillon is a large, left shooting defenseman standing at 6’4″ and weighing 225 pounds. If the Maple Leafs do trade for Dillon, it would only be to have him as a rental for the Playoffs. His $3.27 million deal ends this summer with him becoming a Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA).
In order for this deal to even happen, the Maple Leafs would need to shed salary in another deal first. One deal that could help with this would be to try and move defenceman Cody Ceci. Ceci ($4.5 million) will also be a UFA this summer and could be moved as a rental to another playoff bound team. Dillion (152 hits) plays a more physical game than Ceci (77 hits) and could give the Maple Leafs the physical edge they need. The Maple Leafs could offer prospect Jeremy Bracco and forward Nic Petan who has asked for a trade.
Deal with the Sharks could look something like this.
To the Sharks: Jeremy Bracco + Nic Petan
To the Maple Leafs: Brenden Dillon
Final Thoughts on These Rumours
In order for the Maple Leafs to have any real chance at going deep into the playoffs, they need to upgrade. If Maple Leafs general manager (GM) Kyle Dubas can replace Cody Ceci with Brenden Dillon, then the team would have a better physical presence. Adding Dillon to a defense that already includes Jake Muzzin would greatly improve our chances against more physical teams. Adding Alexandar Georgiev to be backup to Frederik Andersen would give the Maple Leafs a better goalie tandem for the rest of this season and next season.
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