Former Leaf and current analyst addresses the state of the Leafs' blueline

Published August 8, 2023 at 6:17 PM
BY RYAN SMITHERAM

Brad Treliving is known for building a big and physical defense corps as evidenced by Calgary and the likes of Nikita Zadorov, Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev, among others. So far, in his time as the GM of the Leafs he has only added John Klingberg, who is by no-means, big and/or physical. Klingberg is 6'3, but weighs well under 200 pounds and is more of an offensive upgrade than anything.

On TSN's First Up radio show this morning, former Leafs defenseman and current TSN analyst Frankie Corrado was asked what he thinks of the Leafs' current blueline and if he felt they were better or worse than last season.

"I don't think they're better. I think they're different. I think they're going to have more looks offensively with Klingberg, but if we learned anything from the playoffs is that you need big, stout defensemen that can move fairly well and play with a little bit of a mean streak and that's not going to be on their roster as of right now. I'm sure Brad Treliving sees that and he's going to try to address that at some point. You're kind of banking on internal growth from Timothy Liljegren. You're hoping Mark Giordano doesn't lose a big step this year at 40-years-old. You're asking a lot out of a couple of guys on that roster. You're asking John Klingberg to get back to the Dallas Klingberg... I don't think they're a better blueline, no, I think they're a different blueline. If everyone can play up to the standard that is being expected of them, they will get by just fine. But they do need to add some size, some physicality, just some guys with some range on the back end."

Corrado's analysis of the the current state of the Leafs' blueline is bang-on. They are different with the addition of Klingberg, but they are not built to excel in the playoffs. Given that Treliving likes phyiscal defensemen, it would not come as a surprise if he added one or two of those types of players prior to the start of training camp or at some point during the season. If he is going to add one, however, he will have to find a way to shed some salary as if the Leafs want to run a 23-man roster, they are currently $2.1M over the cap with Matt Murray and Jake Muzzin on LTIR. That means if they want to bring someone in, they may have to first shift someone out.


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Former Leaf and current analyst addresses the state of the Leafs' blueline

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