The Leafs' answer on the blueline may come from an Atlantic Division rival

Published January 11, 2024 at 10:22

This year's defense corps for the Toronto Maple Leafs has been one of the most unstable and injury prone in the last number of seasons. At one point, the team had several NHL regulars, including John Klingberg, Jake McCabe, Mark Giordano and Timothy Liljegren, on injured reserve, which put them in a perilous spot.

Luckily, many of their call ups from the Marlies have done a fantastic job filling in, despite previously being pegged as AHL players.

Even though the team has been having success including their recent drubbing of the San Jose Sharks 7-1, general manager Brad Treliving and his staff are making calls across the league to try to find defensive help as the team prepares to enter the second half of the season.

It's well known that the Maple Leafs are looking for a defenseman that has term remaining on his deal as they are looking for cost certainty as their draft capital isn't exactly plentiful. As a result, any assets they move, Treliving wants it to be for someone who will be with the team beyond this season. As it turns out, Ottawa Senators defenseman Jakob Chychrun just may be available.

Chychrun, was in the rumor mill last year as many felt that the Leafs would try to make a push for him and that he could solve many problems they have on their blueline. This season has not gone well for Chychrun and the Senators as the team has gone off the rails and may become sellers at the deadline.

With new general manager Steve Staios taking control of the team, he holds no allegiances or ties to Chychrun and might view him as a great asset to sell at the deadline. The question is, would Staios consider moving him to a division rival?

Chychrun holds a very cap friendly deal. His current salary is $4.6 million per season through 2024-2025. To make a deal possible, the Senators could offer some salary retention, but it might not be necessary, especially for a player of Chychrun's caliber.

Chychrun would give the Maple Leafs' power play a huge boost. It was obvious during the summer that Treliving wanted to bolster the top PP unit, bringing in John Klingberg in an attempt to do so. There's no question that Jakob Chychrun is superior to Klingberg in just about every way imaginable.

It will be a fascinating next couple of months for the Maple Leafs as many questions loom on how they will handle the team and what additions and subtractions they need to make before the deadline. But one thing is clear, the defense corps needs the most attention if the Leafs are hoping for a longer run in the playoffs.
January 11   |   785 answers
The Leafs' answer on the blueline may come from an Atlantic Division rival

Would you go after Jakob Chychrun if you were Leafs GM Brad Treliving?

Yes45257.6 %
No19825.2 %
Tanev is still the best guy for the job13517.2 %
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