The Main Priority For the Leafs is Now Known

Published October 13, 2023 at 6:42 PM

While the Leafs made a lot of moves this offseason, the team does not appear to be done building their roster for the upcoming playoffs. It seems as though Brad Treliving is still looking to add another piece before the trade line and potentially much sooner.

Treliving Looking For Help On The Blueline

According to NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, the Leafs already tried to add a defensemen when they shipped out Sam Lafferty. While he eventually went to Vancouver for a 5th round pick, Treliving was initially involved in discussions with the Oilers. He was hoping to get defensemen Vincent Desharnais in return for Lafferty but Ken Holland was unwilling to let his young blueliner go for that price.

Treliving is reportedly looking to add size and aggressiveness to the blueline, two things that Desharnais has in spades. Two things are going to make a trade difficult for him though. First, the Leafs have limited trade assets. The Leafs do not have any 2nd round picks in the next three drafts and are also missing their 2025 1st rounder. While the team likely would not want to trade a prospect for a trade deadline rental, they are somewhat limited there as well as the team has few noteworthy prospects. Finally, everyone on the current roster figures to be part of the Leaf's long-term plan.


The Leafs Could Trade A Defensemen On The Current Roster

While some of the Leaf's blueliners are surely here to stay, one of their depth pieces could potentially be on the move in a trade where the Leafs upgrade on the back end.

John Klingberg and Morgan Rielly figure to be set. Those two almost certainly are not going anywhere. What about Mark Giordano, Timothy Liljegren, and Jake McCabe? McCabe is the most physical of the three which seems to be what Treliving is looking for, so it is unlikely he gets moved.

40-year-old Mark Giordano has the lowest cap hit of these players making him the easiest to move, but the Leafs may need to move out more cap if they are looking to take a bigger contract back. As it is, Giordano probably stands to be the team's seventh d-man so he is a bit more expendable. It should be noted however, that the Leafs are currently rostering only six defensemen due to their cap situation.


That leaves Timothy Liljegren. The 24-year-old is one of the youngest players on the Leafs and he has shown a lot of potential in the last couple of years. Would Treliving be willing to let go of that potential in order to make a stronger playoff push this year? The team already parted ways with their other young d-man Rasmus Sandin last season so moving him would make their d-core one of the oldest in the league.

Regardless of what happens, Leafs fans can expect the team to make a move on the blueline. The only thing that could prevent this from happening would be the team's cap situation, but that is something Treliving should be able to navigate for a depth move.

As seen on Adding a defenceman remains a priority for the Maple Leafs
October 13   |   102 answers
The Main Priority For the Leafs is Now Known

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