Radio host identifies top priority for Brad Treliving and it's not an Auston Matthews extension

Ryan Smitheram
May 31, 2023  (2:55 PM)

Now that the Leafs have their new GM locked down in Brad Treliving, he'll hav3 a number of things to immediately add to his "to-do" list with many having Auston Matthews and William Nylander extensions at the top of it. While opening those lines of communication are a great place to start, one Toronto radio host and former Leafs defenseman believe that the top priority should be to sort out something that can be addressed earlier than July 1st.

On TSN's First Up this morning, Carlo Colaiacovo discussed what his top priority would be, stating that it would be to address the holes on the Leafs' blueline. "You're starting with some nice pieces. You've got Morgan Rielly, T.J. Brodie, Mark Giordano, Timothy Liljegren, Connor Timmins, but there seems to be something missing. So your first order of business is to find a way to bring back Luke Schenn. For years they've been trying to find a steady partner for Morgan Rielly. Other than Ron Hainsey and Brodie at times, Morgan Rielly's game has never been better than when he started playing with Luke Schenn. So that's a positive. You find a guy to play with Morgan Rielly. Luke Schenn did more than anybody predicted for this Leafs team and he really helped Rielly elevate his game. So that would be priority number one on the back end to find a way to keep Luke Schenn," said Colaiacovo.
"Not only will he help Morgan Rielly but if you're serious about going further in the playoffs, its players like Luke Schenn that help you succeed in the playoffs on defence. It players like him that are big and strong and make life miserable for other players in front of the net," he continued and he is not wrong. We saw a level of play from Rielly in the post season that we have never seen before. It was almost as if he finally had a partner that he knew would be there defensively and in the right position so that he could be more active offensively.
Sure, Schenn isn't the fleetest of foot, but he understands the game very well and is able to provide a steady presence behind Rielly and in the defensive zone in the corners and in front of the net. No one could have predicted Schenn to find his way back into a top pairing role when he was acquired at the deadline, but he did that and more and would be a welcome addition for a full season or two in Toronto.
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