Leafs superstars Auston Matthews and William Nylander
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Insider reveals how many pieces the Leafs need to be considered a true contender

Published February 9, 2024 at 9:45
BY RYAN SMITHERAM

The trade deadline is just four weeks away now and we have already seen a pair of big deals with Sean Monahan being shipped to Winnipeg and Elias Lindholm being traded to Vancouver. We have also heard a number of rumours about the Toronto Maple Leafs, from Chris Tanev and Sean Walker to Noah Hanifin and Scott Laughton as well as how the Leafs are navigating the astronomical asking prices.

On Wednesday's edition of the "Got Yer Back" pod, Ryan Rishaug, Mike Johnson and Pierre LeBrun touched on the current state of the Leafs and what exactly they need to add to their lineup in order to make a deep playoff run.

"In my opinion, they need two defensemen and a top-nine forward, but how do you do that when you're sitting in a Wild Card spot?" said LeBrun.

Johnson and Rishaug agreed and Johnson also brought up the point that as much as the Leafs need a top-four defenseman, getting a defenseman doesn't cure all in Toronto because they have no one putting the puck in the net except for the "Core 4".



On Yesterday's edition of TSN 1050's OverDrive, LeBrun doubled down on his previous comments before he, Jeff O'Neil, Bryan Hayes and Jamie McLennan debated about what the Leafs should do this season.

"I don't think they need to make one move, I think they're two or three moves from where I'd like to see them. I just don't know how they get that done, a) with the cap, and b) they've spent a lot of assets over the last couple years at the deadline."

The debate that ensued following LeBrun's comment was whether the Leafs should be going for it this season due to the fact that they have Auston Matthews in his prime years.

Should the Leafs empty what's left in the prospect cupboards for three months of rental players or protect their assets in the hopes that Fraser Minten and Easton Cowan can help the team in a year or two while Matthews and William Nylander are still signed?

Given how few assets the Leafs have to trade and the astronomical asking prices that are being reported, it probably makes more sense for the Leafs and GM Brad Treliving to go into the playoffs with what they have rather than unloading the few assets they have hoping for a deep run and risking coming up empty-handed again. It's not the sexy answer, but it might very well be the right one.

POLL
February 9   |   534 answers
Insider reveals how many pieces the Leafs need to be considered a true contender

Should the Leafs go for it at the deadline?

No, they need to restock the prospect pool19837.1 %
Yes, might as well33662.9 %
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