Leafs listed as a ''dark horse'' to acquire marquee defenseman

Published January 17, 2022 at 4:05 PM
BY MIKE ARMENTI
That's right, ladies and gents. As we creep closer to the halfway point of the season, trade deadline discussion will be ramping up, and as we all know, the Leafs are linked to every single name on the trade market. That's just how the Toronto media works.

On Monday, a pair of writers with The Athletic (Shayna Goldsmith and Saad Yousuf) combined efforts to take a look at the main contenders for the services of Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg, as well as some of the dark horses who could slide in and pull off a heist under the radar.

At this point, it appears to be a 3-horse race between the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings and Carolina Hurricanes. Funny enough, these are also 3 of the teams who are expected to take a hard run at Arizona Coyotes blueliner Jakob Chychrun.

As for the dark horses, we know that the Leafs are one. The other two teams that were listed were the Nashville Predators and the Pittsburgh Penguins.


The main area of focus in connection to John Klingberg and the Leafs is that if they were to bring in Klingberg, he wouldn't be expected to play the same role as he does for the Stars. He would still log significant ice-time, befitting a player of his caliber, but he wouldn't need to be that big minute-muncher who plays in all situations.

A lesser role on a team that is expected to have as good of a shot as any at chasing a Stanley Cup this spring could spark a bit of allure with Klingberg, who would likely play on the second pair with Jake Muzzin, behind Morgan Rielly and T.J. Brodie, who would maintain their spots on the top pair.

Buckle up Leafs Nation, because this could be a wild trade deadline for the Leafs if the management group believes that this is the year.

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