With the NHL trade deadline less than a month away the rumour mill is heating up. Some players previously linked to the Maple Leafs have dropped off the radar and some new names added. I will take a look at the two players most recently linked to the Maple Leafs.
Josh Manson is 28 years old and is a right handed defenseman. He is currently in the second year of his four year deal. Manson has a cap hit of $4.1 million per season on a contract lasting through the 2021-22 season. He plays a very physical game and he puts his 6’3″ 224 pound frame to good use. What makes Manson so attractive to the Maple Leafs is that he is known as being a defensive defenseman. The Maple Leafs have enough defensemen that can produce offensively and they need someone who can stay back and protect their end of the ice. Manson is good at winning defensive puck battles and always finishes his checks. He is also good at closing off gaps and protecting the front of the net.
Alec Martinez is a 32 year old left shooting defenseman with one more year left on his contract after this year. The contract has a cap hit worth $4 million per year. Sportsnet has reported that the Los Angeles Kings have put Martinez on the trading block. With Morgan Rielly injured until at least the middle of March, Martinez could be the guy to fill those big minutes. Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe could also pair Martinez with his former Kings defense partner Jake Muzzin. Both TSN and Sportsnet have reported that the Maple Leafs are expected to meet with Muzzin’s agent to talk about a contract extension. If the Maple Leafs can acquire Alec Martinez that might help in the Muzzin negotiations.
Final Thoughts on Maple Leafs Trade Rumours
Sportsnet reporter Elliotte Friedman reported that Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas has stated that the players will determine what management does at the trade deadline. The Maple Leafs answered that call by going out and winning two road games in buildings that are tough to win in. I think that if the Maple Leafs continue to play well and remain in the playoff picture by the trade deadline, then we will see Kyle Dubas make a move to help his team’s defense.
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