Elliotte Friedman links Nikita Zadorov and Chris Tanev to Toronto Maple Leafs

Graham Montgomery
June 14, 2024  (8:17 PM)

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Nikita Zadorov addressing the media during the 2024 NHL playoffs
Photo credit: NHL

According to NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, the Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to add two quality defenseman in free agency this summer.

There certainly will be a large number of quality blueliners that appear to be hitting the open market this summer. Among them are Chris Tanev, Brandon Montour, Nikita Zadorov, Brett Pesce, Matt Roy, and Brady Skjei. Friedman linked several of these aforementioned defenseman as targets for the Maple Leafs. The team is apparently hoping to sign two of these big names this summer.
"I think they like Zadorov. I think they like Tanev. I think they like Montour. Pesce, yes, Walker, yes. I think they like all these guys. I had guys tell me the Leafs are going to try and get two of these guys."
Canucks insider Rick Dhaliwal has also reported that he's heard the Toronto Maple Leafs are pursuing Nikita Zadorov. The Canucks would like to keep the big blueliner according to all reports, but they simply may not be in a position cap-wise where they can make it work. As a result, it looks like Toronto could be one of the favorites to land him, although it sounds like the price will be high.
Rumblings about the Leafs going after Nikita Zadorov and Dakota Joshua won't go away 👀
Several of these players are notable as they were traded at the deadline last season. Nikita Zadorov and Chris Tanev both were traded by Calgary, with the former landing in Vancouver and the later in Dallas. Both teams have reportedly made big efforts to retaining their new defensemen, but the NHL is a business at the end of the day and money and term are always factors to consider. It seems like the Leafs may have a better time signing Zadorov, as we have already heard rumors that he will be hitting the market. There have been rumors about Tanev potentially staying in Dallas however, so that might be a tougher sell for other potential buyers, including the Leafs.