The recent trade speculation surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs is complete nonsense. There is no way the Leafs make that deal.
Rumors are swirling all over the place saying that Toronto and the Nashville Predators are in talks on a blockbuster deal. The Maple Leafs would receive Filip Forsberg in exchange for William Nylander, Travis Dermott, and Timothy Liljegren.
For the Leafs, that is a lot to give up for one player who becomes an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) after next season. Forsberg has a slightly lower salary cap hit ($6 million) than Nylander ($6.962 million), but Nylander has more term.
Reasons This Trade Doesn’t Work
As of right now, the Predators have $3.550 million in cap space. This means that they can not even do a Forsberg for Nylander deal without trading away something else. Add Dermott and Liljegren to the mix and it just becomes even more outrageous.
If there was more coming back to Toronto than just Forsberg, then I would be more inclined to consider it, but as it is constructed right now, no way.
The difference in salary cap hit and contract term alone make this a bad trade. Giving up that many assets for a player who is only slightly better than one of the three players you’re sending back is not a smart move.
I just don’t see Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas making this trade. Even if he feels like Toronto is in a must-win now mode, it’s still a bad trade.
A Trade With Nashville That Does Make Sense
There is another rumor involving the Maple Leafs and Predators that does make sense and revolves around Toronto acquiring Mikael Granlund. Sportsnet’s hockey insider Elliotte Friedman recently said that Granlund’s name has been mentioned as someone the Leafs are interested in.
Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe seems to like Alexander Kerfoot on the wing more than at center. If the Leafs were to acquire Granlund ($3.75 million) for the rest of this season, that is a deal that makes more sense.
Granlund would become the team’s new third-line center and allow Kerfoot to stay on the wing. Acquiring Granlund would also be less costly for Kyle Dubas and the Maple Leafs.
Depending on which prospect or draft pick Toronto sends to Nashville, it could help the Leafs get the Predators to retain some of Granlund’s salary. Toronto could trade one or both of Pierre Engvall and Jimmy Vesey, plus either a second-round pick or prospect.
Maple Leafs Will Deal Before Trade Deadline
Many hockey insiders are predicting that Canadian teams will look to make trade well before the trade deadline if they’re dealing with teams in the United States. Any player that has to cross the border into Canada will need to quarantine first before they can play.
This would prompt Canadian teams to act quicker to better their teams before the deadline than those teams south of the border. This could be why the trade rumors have picked up recently.
Kyle Dubas has said he would like to improve the top nine and he has been in conversation with Nashville. Whether or not that leads to trade is anybody’s guess right now.
Another factor into why the Leafs need to acquire more help is the rash of injuries the team has suffered recently. The team has plenty of depth players, but none of them have stepped up in the absence of our injured players.
The depth on the Leafs third and fourth lines will surely be different than it is right now come playoff time. Just when that will happen is unknown, but it sounds like it could be sooner rather than later.
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