Now I know there is a lot of anti-Avery on this board, but hear me out.
I always thought the Leafs should have gone for Schneider earlier this year, not because we needed him, but because he would have brought a lot of return at the trade deadline. I think perhaps Fletcher avoided him because Burke was still with Anaheim at the time, and any deal with the Leafs would have led to cries of shenanigans.
The acquisition of Avery would be on one condition: he was signed as a free agent at a one year deal. This could only happen if the Stars buy him out, which is a possibility. Now, the Stars can try recallable waivers on Avery, but he still may not be claimed because he would be untradeable to the team that acquires him. If he were to be traded again, he would have to be paid in full by the next team. I don’t think anyone may take him on those conditions.
But assuming he does get bought out, a one year deal may be all he could get. Something in the range of $1 million pro rata for the season. If he works out, you trade him at the deadline for picks. Otherwise, you lose nothing. The Leafs need some toughness and Avery would come with low cost, low risk.
Besides, wouldn’t reading WCH be more fun.