The Toronto Maple Leafs want a defenceman. Everyone knows this. Lou Lamoriello is in Vegas and was talking to George McPhee of the Vegas Golden Knights about making a deal. McPhee says he’s planning to take extra defencemen to trade once the trade freeze is lifted tomorrow morning.
Are there any defencemen to be had that are worth having?
Tuesday night Elliott Friedman posted 30 Thoughts and Bob McKenzie spat out a Tweet storm, and both have news about who has made deals with Vegas and what they may entail. There’s only 29 places that McPhee could get a defender the Leafs might want, so let’s look at them all:
This is the big one at the top of the list. Both Sami Vatanen and Josh Manson were exposed.
Let's start with ANA. The belief is VGK will claim Clayton Stoner, pass on Manson/Vatanen and, in return for all that, get Shea Theodore.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 21, 2017
Do the Leafs want Shea Theodore? He’s a lefty, but he’s young, and fits the long-range timeline of a contending dynasty which is what you hear as the plan whenever Lamoriello or Mike Babcock talk. He’s got good buzz around him and a little bit of NHL experience. He might be a target of interest. Brandon Montour fits the Leafs’ needs better, but his name has never come up as possible to get.
They have nothing on the their exposed list worth taking.
Colin Miller is the man to look at here. He is 24, a right-shooting defender, and he’s playing a lot better quality hockey than a player with his low ice-time usually manages. While he isn’t any younger than Nikita Zaitsev, he would be an asset to the team at a low contract. His stats are buoyed up by playing on the Corsi dynamo team of the Bruins, but he still looks like a player who could move up in responsibility.
The only defender worth having, can be got as a UFA on July 1. There was word that the Leafs tried to get Cody Franson at the deadline last season, but couldn’t do it.
Nothing worth having.
Carolina doesn’t need to expose any players of value, and the deal they are rumoured to be doing is an inducement for Vegas to take Eddie Lack off their hands. The ‘Canes are a team the Leafs can go to tomorrow if today doesn’t bear fruit.
If the deal to send Trevor van Riemsdyk to Vegas is made, then the Leafs might be interested in him as depth and one more young defender. He’s not the top four star they need, though.
There is a possibility that Tyson Barrie might be traded. The Avs have protected him, so again, this is a tomorrow deal, not a today deal. The price is likely a very good forward.
Columbus has a deal with Vegas, reportedly to trade their first overall and a prospect to protect all their players. Who that prospect is is unknown. Gabriel Carlsson is about their only defence prospect who is really worth a long look. He is only 20 and was taken in the 2015 first round.
Nothing worth having here.
Jonathan Ericsson? No? Okay.
Jason Demers is the name here, and if the Leafs want a win-now player, he might be very good. However, it seems that the Panthers are actually looking to move Jonathan Marchessault. They might have a deal to protect him, they might be looking to move him. It’s not clear. It is possible Florida fears his future cost because he is a UFA next summer, not an RFA. This might be the opportunity to flip the script and take a centre, however.
Brayden McNabb was exposed. If the Kings don’t have a deal, he will be a player Vegas would likely take. He is a lefty, 26 years old, and good, but not good enough to push Morgan Rielly to the right side, so I don’t see the fit.
Minnesota seems to have made a deal to have Vegas take pending UFA Erik Haula, so no Matt Dumba possibility exists anymore. But Haula as a depth centre is well worth considering.
Do they have any defencemen left?
Nashville may or may not have a deal and they may or may not lose a forward. Unless you want Petter Granberg back, there are no defenders there.
Viktor Loov? No? Okay.
The Islanders protected all of the defenders they could manage at the expense of their forwards. Calvin de Haan is the name here left open on D, but he is a lefty, 26 years old, and is in the same class as McNabb — not quite the right fit.
Ah, ha ha.
As for Marc Methot, word is there is significant interest. This is going to make Senators fans sick, but the first teams that jumped into my head were Montreal and Toronto. It would make sense for both to want him. I can’t confirm it, but it sounds like both of those clubs are on his no-trade list.
Why would it make sense for the Leafs? He’s not any better than Matt Hunwick, in fact, he’s a lot less of a sure thing. This weird idea has been floated by others and it might be a neato narrative, but it would be a dumb move.
Michael Del Zotto is better than most people think he is, but he’s not worth trading for.
Vegas is taking Marc-André Fleury. He is expected to be at the awards tonight as the face of the franchise. He’d look dashing in armour.
St Louis Blues
I do wonder if Vegas will take Carl Gunnarsson, but his day has passed.
There has to be a deal in place here, and the defenders left open aren’t good fits anyway.
I can’t find any player at any position on their exposed list that is worth having.
There’s no one there, even as depth, that isn’t UFA.
Toby Enstrom will likely end up as depth somewhere, but not the Leafs.
So this is the list I get, taking the rumours into account: who do you like on it to trade for?
Do you like any of these trade ideas?
This poll is closed
Trevor van Riemsdyk
Calvin de Haan