Leafs looking to add ahead of the trade deadline?
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Insider provides huge update regarding the Maple Leafs' trade deadline plans

Published January 27, 2024 at 11:16
BY MIKE ARMENTI

Prior to the start of the 2023-24 season, I think just about everyone in the hockey sphere viewed the Leafs as the team in the Atlantic Division with the best opportunity to win the division this season, especially after the Patrice Bergeron retirement announcement in Boston. The Atlantic Division title is still not entirely out of reach, but with a 13-point gap separating Bruins from the Leafs right now, it's highly unlikely that the Leafs will catch their heated rival.

The Leafs are currently holding down the 1st Wild Card spot, 13 point behind the Bruins, 8 points behind the Panthers and 1 point behind the Lightning with games in hand on all 3 divisional rivals. I think the biggest question here isn't necessarily about who the Leafs can catch, but rather, do the Leafs believe this is a year in which they can challenge for a Stanley Cup given all of their current inconsistencies?

Why is this question important? Well, that's simple. If they believe they can challenge for a Stanley Cup, they'll be in the buyer's market. If they don't believe they have a shot this year, they can punt the season and use some of their expiring contracts, such as Tyler Bertuzzi, Max Domi and T.J. Brodie, among others, to bring back assets at the deadline, more specifically, some additional draft capital that they can use in this year's draft and/or in future drafts or that they can package into other deals to address their needs via trade.

Most recently, the reports coming out surrounding the Leafs have been mostly about the Leafs not feeling as though this is their year and that they may not be buyers, at least to the extent that they've been in recent years. One such report had emerged this week from The Fourth Period's David Pagnotta, who earlier this week had suggested that the Leafs may not do much of anything at the deadline.


Well, that was earlier this week. Now, after a pair of wins against two pretty good teams in Seattle and Winnipeg, the Leafs may be changing their tune. Pagnotta's most recent write-up for The Fourth Period contained an interesting tidbit about the Leafs and the fact that they may indeed be looking to add, but that there was a limit to how much they'd be willing to spend. As it turns out, their 2024 1st round pick may be on the table.

"The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to explore the trade market, but the sense I've gotten the last two weeks is that GM Brad Treliving isn't eager to make a move. Maybe, but I believe the more accurate description is that he is not eager to pay a premium to fill potholes – and he can't repave the entire road. The Leafs remain interested in guys like Chris Tanev, but until they up their offers, they'll remain on the sidelines. I believe they'll move their first-round pick, but they have to love the return. And teams have asked about Fraser Minten, but he isn't on the table for a rental. The sense of urgency might pick up closer to the trade deadline, but that's where this team is at, right now." - David Pagnotta on the Leafs

Obviously, with the deadline approximately 6 weeks out, teams are going to start establishing themselves as buyers and sellers, so over the next couple of weeks, we should have a pretty good idea of who will be available and what the asking prices might look like. For the Leafs, as Pagnotta has outlined, the focus has pretty consistently been on Calgary's Chris Tanev. Whether or not he winds up in Toronto will be heavily dependent on the asking price from the Flames and whether or not the Leafs are willing to meet that.

Nevertheless, it's nice to know that the Leafs aren't in full blown punt mode just yet. There is still a belief that this team can win and as long as that belief is there, roster additions are possible.
POLL
January 27   |   536 answers
Insider provides huge update regarding the Maple Leafs' trade deadline plans

Will Chris Tanev be a Leaf at or ahead of the trade deadline?

Yes, he'll be a Leaf before the deadline passes15328.5 %
No, he'll be traded elsewhere31057.8 %
He'll be a Leaf, but not until free agency7313.6 %
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