The rumor mill has begun to catch fire for the Maple Leafs. Here are three of the latest rumors surrounding the team.
Rumor One: Andersen to the Penguins
Nick Kypreos reported last week that he was hearing a trade between the Maple Leafs and the Penguins is being discussed. The rumored trade would see the Maple Leafs sending Frederik Andersen to the Penguins in exchange for Matt Murray.
This rumor has also been mentioned by Jonas Siegal from the Athletic. While discussing possible goaltending options for the Maple Leafs, he was quoted as saying “Murray has the Stanley Cup pedigree we’re talking about, helping the Penguins to two Cups. He’ll only turn 26 in May — almost three years younger than Lehner. And get this: He played for Dubas and Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe with the Greyhounds.”
If you think that connection doesn’t matter, look at the trade Dubas made with the Kings last season. Jack Campbell was someone who Dubas traded for in the OHL and brought to the Greyhounds. Dubas was also Kyle Clifford’s first agent.
While Andersen has one more year left at $5 million, Murray is a Restricted Free Agent (RFA) this summer. With two Stanley cups under his belt, Murray could be seeking more than the $5 million that Andersen is making. If this deal happens and Dubas signs Murray for under $5 million, it will help Dubas with his salary cap situation.
Rumor Two: Maple Leafs and Oilers
This rumor comes from three different sources. First, we have Mark Spector from Sportsnet claiming that the time might be right for the Oilers to trade Adam Larsson. He points out that the Maple Leafs and several other teams would be interested in Larsson. Spector was noted as saying “Look at the Toronto Maple Leafs? Do they need Adam Larsson? You bet they need Adam Larsson. And there are other teams that would say the same thing,”
A trade rumor between the Maple Leafs and Oilers was also brought up by Bob Stauffer during an Oilers Now segment. He was talking with former Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke about the needs for both teams. The Oilers need more secondary scoring and the Maple Leafs need a shutdown defenseman. Stauffer suggested a player such as Andreas Johnsson or Kasperi Kapanen to the Oilers for Larsson.
It should be noted that both Johnsson ($3.4 million) and Kapanen (3.2 million) have cheaper cap hits than Larsson (4.1 million). Larsson also only has one season left on his deal. Johnsson has three more years, while Kapanen has two. This would be an interesting deal if it happens.
Rumor Three: Bruce Boudreau
On August 14th, the Maple Leafs announced that assistant coach Paul McFarland has officially left the organization. He is leaving to assume his role as head coach of the Kingston Frontenacs in the OHL. The Maple Leafs also announced that they would not be renewing the contract of assistant coach Andrew Brewer. This leaves two open assistant coaching jobs for the Maple Leafs to fill.
Boudreau is known for running a very effective defensive structure. During his three years with the Minnesota Wild, they had the lowest expected goals against per 60 minutes at 5v5 in the league at 1.94. Boudreau could be the right person for turning this Maple Leafs defense around. Also helps to know that he is a huge fan of the Maple Leafs and is a former Maple Leaf himself. He would do anything to help this team succeed.
I, like many others have no idea if the Maple Leafs plan to trade Andersen. Have they won a playoff round with him in net? No. Is it entirely his fault? No. Will be interesting to see what the Maple Leafs decide to do with their goaltending situation. Murray would at least bring in a winning pedigree.
Larsson could fit in nicely on the Maple Leafs defense. I can not see the Maple Leafs trading Johnsson or Kapanen for a defenseman that only has one year left on his contract. The defense clearly needs an upgrade though, so we will see what Dubas does to address this.
I think Bruce Boudreau could be exactly what the Maple Leafs need. A veteran NHL coach to help guide Sheldon Keefe, but also a coach who knows how to run a good defense.
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