Former Leafs defenseman and current radio host calls out Leafs over underwhelming D corps

Ryan Smitheram
August 3, 2023  (10:17)

Under the Kyle Dubas regime, the Leafs' blueline was always built on skill and the ability to move the puck efficiently aside from deadline additions like Ilya Lyubushkin and Luke Schenn. Time and time again, the Leafs' blueline was unable to handle the physicality of the playoffs because they have never had enough defensemen like Schenn and Lyubushkin, in some people's minds.

Leafs GM Brad Treliving was hopeful he would be able to bring Schenn back for the upcoming season and it looked like that would happen until Nashville swooped in and signed him to a 3-year deal. The Leafs also made an attempt to lure Radko Gudas to Toronto, but he chose Anaheim instead as he said he did not want to play in the pressure cooker that is Toronto. On TSN's OverDrive yesterday, former Leaf and First Up radio host Carlo Colaiacovo called out the make up of the current defense core and Treliving.
"I know Brad Treliving has been open and honest about how he wants to build this team with his vision and a lot of it has to do with the way the defense is built and the defense is built. To me, I haven't seen it yet. To me, John Klingberg isn't the prototypical guy that fits the mold, the identity of what we see in a defenseman come playoff time. If he finds his form like he had in Dallas he can make this team more offensively dangerous," said Colaiacovo of Treliving's current defensive set up.
Colaiacovo then doubled down saying, "The teams that go the farthest, how do they usually get there? What do their defense look like? They definitely don't look anything like the Leafs' blueline looks like right now. You've got Mark Giordano and Timothy Liljegren on your third pair. John Klingberg and Jake McCabe on your second pair and you've got Morgan Rielly and T.J. Brodie. I've seen enough of Brodie and Rielly... The four teams that made it to the semi finals this year all had that defensemen that were big, that were strong and made you pay a price. Look at the series against Florida. They got pushed around, they got bullied and that was with the guys that were there and they're not there anymore."
Colaiacovo makes a valid point. Vegas' entire defense was 6'1 or bigger and Florida's was very similar. The Leafs need to add at least one, if not two defensemen that are just plain mean. With the Leafs currently $2.1M over the cap with Matt Murray and Jake Muzzin on LTIR, there is likely another move or two coming from Treliving and we can only hope that it is a defenseman in the same vain as Gudas or Schenn.
3 AOUT   |   543 ANSWERS
Former Leafs defenseman and current radio host calls out Leafs over underwhelming D corps

Do the Leafs need to add a mean, physical defenseman?

Absolutely43880.7 %
Not necessarily407.4 %
One?? They need at least two..6512 %
Latest 10 stories