Is this where we followers of the Leafs pretend to be GM of the team? Hope so, because here I go.
If I were GM of the Leafs right now, and confident as I am that the Leafs will be returning to the playoffs this spring, I would begin preparations now. Having seen what happened to the Sabres - in 2005-06 - when they ran out of healthy d-men before they could reach the Stanley Cup Final, I would stockpile NHL-caliber defensemen. Remember, the cupboard is quite bare - down at the Ricoh. Who - other than John-Michael Liles - could confidently be relied upon, in the event of an injury with the Leafs, at playoff time?
The first move - the easy move - would be signing one of the three still unsigned free agent d-men: Ian White, Carlo Colaiacovo or Cam Barker. With White, you have a right-handed shot and someone with more than 500 NHL games under his belt, and 22 playoff games; with Colaiacovo, you have a fragile defensemen who has played 376 NHL games in the regular season, and 20 in the playoffs; and, with Barker, you have a younger d-man with size, and more than 300 NHL games played, and 17 playoff games. Needless to say, White would be my first choice, and - if he was willing to sign for NHL-minimum and play, until needed, with the Marlies - I would offer him a contract.
Then, I would trade a member of the Marlies' blueline corps for Aaron Rome. At present, Rome is playing for Dallas' farm team, and earning $1,500,000. Presumably, the Stars would prefer Korbinian Holzer - a younger defenseman - whose price tag is $787,500 a season. With his size and experience - 200 NHL games under his belt, and a run to the Stanley Cup Final - Rome would be ideal as injury insurance come playoff time.
Even with these two acquisitions, there could be another d-man or two acquired at the trade deadline, if injuries or the play of the blueline corps with the Leafs made it necessary. There's no such thing as too many defensemen when the playoffs begin.
(* I'm assuming Dallas would rather pay Korbinian Holzer $787,500 to play for their AHL team, than the $1,500,000 they're now paying Aaron Rome)