Jake McCabe taking a number during a shift on the road
Photo credit: NHL

An outstanding compilation featuring Jake McCabe's hardest hits as a Leaf

Published January 21, 2024 at 12:38
BY MIKE ARMENTI

The Leafs need an upgrade on the blueline in the worst way right now, but when you look at the D corps from top to bottom, it's really not as bad as some might have you believe. The Leafs have some very good pieces on the back end, and if they were to simply make a move or two to push players down into more suitable roles lower in the lineup, perhaps the problems would sort themselves out.

One piece who has played well in his 2nd season in Toronto is veteran defenseman Jake McCabe. The two-way defenseman has never been a huge point producer in his NHL career, but with 16 points in 38 games played, McCabe is on pace to set new career highs in goals, assists and points this season.

McCabe's true value to the team does not lie in his point production, however. It's his physicality that makes him a valuable commodity for the Leafs. Just take a look at this highlight reel of his bone-ratting hits and tell me with a straight face that you can't win with this guy.




McCabe is currently featured in a top-4 role in Toronto and he has played very well there. However, if the Leafs can bring in a guy like Chris Tanev or Jakob Chychrun and create a bit of a cascading effect on the roster, it could help the Leafs create even more favourable matchups.

If the Leafs were to go out and get both of Tanev and Chychrun, they could push guys like McCabe down to the 3rd pair, bumping veteran Mark Giordano into that #7 or #8 D role. If that were to occur, the Leafs could conceivably run a blueline group that looks something like this:

Rielly-Tanev
Chychrun-Brodie
McCabe-Liljegren
Giordano-Benoit

Call me crazy, but that looks like a D corps that you can win a Stanley Cup with.
POLL
January 21   |   764 answers
An outstanding compilation featuring Jake McCabe's hardest hits as a Leaf

Should the Leafs extend Jake McCabe on July 1st?

Absolutely, he's been solid48964 %
No, there are so many better options9212 %
Let him play the last year of his deal first18324 %
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