Leafs send a clear message to teams regarding their best trade chips

Dean Chaudhry
December 12, 2023  (8:51 PM)

It comes as no surprise that the Toronto Maple Leafs are desperately perusing the trade market as we speak for defensive help. The Leafs lost out on Nikita Zadorov but they haven't given up hope on Chris Tanev and a slew of defensemen from the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Leafs, however, are not negotiating from a position of strength since they don't necessarily have the treasure chest of assets to move for the top-end talent remaining on the market. They are looking for more than one player but talks have been relatively stale:
"As recently reported by Friedman on 'Saturday Headlines', the Flyers were asked about both defencemen Nick Seeler and Sean Walker together as the two have formed a very formidable second pair this season and have been integral in the Flyers' success. Asking around about this, I got mixed responses on who this team could be."

"One person mentioned the Leafs, as Seeler and Walker are cheaper consolation prizes to Zadorov and Tanev. Given the Leafs' interest in both Calgary defencemen, another source said that it'd «make sense» the Leafs would have their eyes on another duo of rearguards in a package."

The Flyers are reportedly in no rush to move on from any of their players, which is why the asking price is so high, as evidenced by their first or second round pick ask. Since the Maple Leafs don't have a 2nd round pick for the next 3 seasons or a first round pick in 2025, prospects like Easton Cowan or Fraser Minten have been requested by teams. It has been reported that both are non-starters for Brad Treliving and company.
Anthony Di Marco of The Fourth Period talked about the situation at length, primarily about the discussions between both clubs:
"Several league executives told me Treliving has not tipped his hand as to what he's willing to pay to acquire, which aligns with colleague Pagnotta's recent report – not just for Tanev, but any defenceman at this juncture. Toronto doesn't have a ton of assets to offer but are unwilling to move the few that do garner value."

"Prospect forwards Easton Cowen and Fraser Minten were described to me as 'non-starters' for the Leafs. The coy approach of Toronto has left more than one team a little frustrated with trade talks."

The Flyers are open for conversations but due to their unexpected start to the season they might hold off until the very final days leading into the trade deadline. The Maple Leafs don't have that kind of time to wait, nor do they appear willing to move the young assets that the Flyers are looking for, making it seem more and more likely that they'll be looking elsewhere.
Leafs send a clear message to teams regarding their best trade chips

Will the Leafs end up moving one of Easton Cowan or Fraser Minten in a trade for a defenseman?

Yes32743 %
No43357 %
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