TSN's Darren Dreger
Photo credit: TSN

Insider makes bold claim about the Leafs as we approach the trade deadline

Published February 12, 2024 at 11:01
BY RYAN SMITHERAM
We are less than one month from the NHL's trade deadline on March 8th and there has been no shortage of speculation about the plans for the Toronto Maple Leafs and GM Brad Treliving. Reports have gone from stating the Leafs will not be overly active to Treliving being very active or even somewhere in between. Additionally, there has been discussions about who and what the Leafs are willing to trade with the latest being that they are still not willing to move the likes of Easton Cowan, Fraser Minten or Matthew Knies, but are willing to trade their first round pick in 2024 for someone that is not a rental.

Today on TSN 1050's "First Up", Darren Dreger reported that he believes the Leafs won't necessarily be very active, but will be very aggressive in pursuit of their trade targets for one specific reason.

"I've been firm on this being the all-in year for the Toronto Maple Leafs... That's taking stock of what you have, but also the contract situations John Tavares and Mitch Marner moving forward. It's not getting any easier and the salary cap increase for next year is already gobbled up by William Nylander.

Anybody that looks at the Leafs now and says stand pat and hold onto that first round pick and these top prospects because you're going to need them in the future, I can appreciate that. I look at it realistically as well and if you're counting on that first round draft pick in 2024 to be a big game player two, three, four years from now, that's a lot to expect from any management because Toronto is a rabid market. Expectations are always high. General Managers who are in a position to try and win normally take a swing because they don't know what they're going to be doing two, three, four years from now."



Dreger's comments about the Leafs deadline plans are the opposite of what most fans want the Leafs to do, which is stand pat and restock the prospect pool. However, he makes a very good point about the 2024 first round pick in that by the time that player is possibly ready to be an NHL contributor, the Leafs' window to win may have already passed. Not only that, but it is better to trade an asset you are not familiar with than trade the ones you are like Minten and Cowan.

From all of the reports that have made the rounds, the one thing that has been consistent is that Treliving is doing his due diligence and attempting to land a player or players that will help the Leafs not just this season, but over the next few seasons as well. Regardless of what the Leafs do or don't do over the next few weeks, the roster will look drastically different next season when Treliving has more time to evaluate the entire roster and possibly escape from some bad deals like Ryan Reaves and David Kampf.

POLL
12 February   |   575 answers
Insider makes bold claim about the Leafs as we approach the trade deadline

If you were Leafs GM Brad Treliving, how would you approach this trade deadline?

I'd make multiple bold moves31053.9 %
I'd make one big addition20335.3 %
I'd stand pat6210.8 %
I'd punt on the season and trade expiring assets00 %
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