Leafs reportedly engaged in trade discussions with a Metropolitan Division team

Published August 12, 2023 at 7:39
BY RYAN SMITHERAM

John Klingberg has been the only addition to the Leafs' blueline so far this off-season and he isn't the prototypical Brad Treliving add either. Klingberg is being brought in to provide more of an offensive element to the Leafs' blueline, taking some of the pressures off of Morgan Rielly, but given Treliving's preference for big, strong, physical defensemen, another move is likely coming and could be coming sooner than later.

According to a rumour/report on Friday, the Leafs and Blue Jackets have engaged in trade discussions surrounding Columbus defenseman Andrew Peeke. The 25-year-old, 6'3, right-shot blueliner is Treliving's type of defenseman. Peeke finished last season with 197 blocks and 180 hits while skating in 80 of Columbus' 82 games. In addition to that, Peeke is entering the first year of a 3-year extension he signed in September of last year that will see him earn $2.75M per year. Of course, the Leafs would have to shed salary and throughout the off-season T.J. Brodie and his $5M cap hit have come up more than once.

Swapping Brodie for Peeke would be an easy way to make the Leafs cap compliant as they would save $2.25M, but moving Brodie may not be the ideal option. Brodie may not be physical, but he is the Leafs' best defensive defenseman and is an integral part of the penalty kill, particularly now that Justin Holl is gone.

Peeke might be a fine addition, but acquiring him at the cost of losing Brodie might not be the play here. The Leafs have already parted ways with several defensively adept forwards this summer in favour of more offense up front. We don't yet know what the fallout of some of these departures will be, and until we know that, I'm not sure parting with the team's top defensive presence is the smartest of moves.


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August 12   |   1421 answers
Leafs reportedly engaged in trade discussions with a Metropolitan Division team

Should the Leafs move the final year of T.J. Brodie's contract this summer?

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