Toronto Maple Leafs willing to use loophole to land major defensive star

Tom Banks
June 27, 2024  (8:09)

Brad Treliving, General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Photo credit: Sportsnet

The Toronto Maple Leafs are desperate for a star on their blue line, and GM Brad Treliving is reportedly ready to shell out a major deal to land one.

After another disappointing playoff performance, the stage is set for the Toronto Maple Leafs to make a big splash this summer, and according to all reports, they're ready to do so. While plenty of attention is paid to star forward Mitch Marner and his trade market, it appears they are intently looking at the free agent market, with eyes on filling one, if not two spots on their blue line.
Now, TSN's Chris Johnston has revealed the strategy for GM Brad Treliving as they target former Calgary Flames star defenseman Chris Tanev.
»I think the Leafs are willing to get creative on a contract with Chris Tanev even despite his age and his injury history you might see him sign a longer term contract with wherever he lands and that could be a way to lower the AAV for him I don't think you can rule out a five or six year deal this time around and I think Toronto is one of the teams that is going to be knocking on his door.»

It's no secret that Tanev has been on their radar for quite some time, and while he is getting up there in age, the pure influence he would have for this team would make any deal worthwhile.
It's unclear at this point if they could afford both Tanev and former Flames teammate Nikita Zadorov, but if Toronto can get one or the other to pair with Morgan Rielly on the blue line, it would be a major coup for this team moving forward.