Reporter connects Leafs to defenseman on an Atlantic Division rival

Ryan Smitheram
August 10, 2023  (7:19 PM)

The Leafs failed to keep Luke Schenn when free agency opened and instead of replacing him with a similar type player like a Matt Dumba type, they opted to seek more offense and added John Klingberg. The addition of Klingberg is not the usual type of defenseman that GM Brad Treliving goes for as he prefers, big, physical blueliners. That has led many to question the construct of the Leafs' blueline and wonder if another move or two is coming. Over the weekend, their long-standing rival, the Montreal Canadiens, re-acquired a defenseman that fits Treliving's preferred play style in Jeff Petry.

Today on TSN1050's Game Play radio show, Leafs reporter David Alter discussed the possibility of the Leafs acquiring Petry.
"Maybe, there is that talk with the Leafs in terms of changing the defense and stuff hasn't really been done there and Petry could be someone who could shift the makeup there. It's a matter of if you do that, what kind of cap hit goes and what kind of assets would Montreal be looking at? ... It could make sense, I can see a fit. It does look like the Leafs should kind of bolster the defense. "
The 35-year-old has the size that Treliving prefers at 6'3 and 210 pounds and isn't afraid to use it. He finished last season with 190 hits and 111 blocks but he also quietly put up 31 points. Petry is in the third year of a 4-year deal he signed with the Habs in 2020 that has a cap hit of $6.25M per season, but with the Pens retaining 25% of that ($1,562,500), the Habs are only responsible for $4,687,500 and if the Leafs could get the Habs to retain some of it, getting Petry for under $4M would be some tidy work for Treliving. As Alter said though, it also depends on what the Habs are looking for in return and the Leafs' prospect pool is not very deep after Matthew Knies and Nicholas Robertson. Not only that, but the Leafs would also have to move additional salary out as they are currently $2.1M over the cap with Jake Muzzin and Matt Murray on LTIR. With two months until the regular season, however, there is lots of time for the Leafs to continue to reshape their roster and cap situation.
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Reporter connects Leafs to defenseman on an Atlantic Division rival

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