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McKenzie: Chances of Leafs trading Barrie “greatly enhanced”

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#94 may not make it through one full season in Toronto, it turns out.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Update:

We have a couple of brief trade tidbits as we close in on the trade deadline (Monday February 24th, 2020, at 3:00 PM). The first comes from TSN.

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Leafs’ core players were told several weeks ago that the team’s performance would determine the team’s deadline strategy. If the team were to do well, the Leafs might add at the deadline.

If, on the other hand the Leafs were to, I don’t know, fart away three games out of four in clownish fashion, the Leafs would prioritize the long term. Apparently getting dunked on by your own 42-year-old Zamboni driver helped finalize the feelings in the front office: we are not adding for this year. As per Bob, the Leafs are out on Zach Bogosian. Whether adding Zach Bogosian would actually help an NHL team trying to win is mercifully a moot question for us now.

Of more immediate interest, the Leafs are shopping right-shot defenceman Tyson Barrie now, after a largely disappointing three-quarters of a season in Toronto. Bob has the Leafs wanting a first and a prospect for Barrie, who is in the final year of his contract.

That ties into some other news: discussions about Barrie are ongoing with the Vancouver Canucks. I am a little curious why they want him especially, but who am I to question Jim Benning?

Speculating a bit here, but if such a deal were to be with Vancouver, a first would presumably come in 2021 because the Canucks are slated to give their 2020 first to Tampa Bay in the J.T. Miller trade, unless they miss the playoffs (in which case the pick rolls to next year.) The prospects under discussion likely don’t include the Canucks’ two prize forward futures, Nils Hoglander and Vasili Podkolzin; maybe the Canucks are ready to give up entirely on former fifth overall pick Olli Juolevi. Or maybe the market on Barrie will be too soft for that kind of return.

Darren Dreger says there’s not full-blown panic in the Leafs’ FO, but that there is a recognition “more maturing is required.” Obviously we can hope for more growth from Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren. Hopefully the rest of the Leafs manage to get it together sometime soon too.