Insider reveals the latest on the Leafs and a Stanley Cup winning defenseman

Mike Armenti
March 7, 2024  (4:30 PM)

Elliotte Friedman
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Several hours have elapsed since the Maple Leafs pulled the trigger on a deal for Washington Capitals defenseman Joel Edmundson and while the reactions to the move have been mostly positive, as Edmundson does check some important boxes for the Leafs, I think it's safe to say that everyone is still awaiting a much bigger deal in Toronto.

One name that has come up in recent weeks has been Blues defenseman Colton Parayko, who has had a tough few seasons in St. Louis before a huge bounce back season this year. Up until now, it's been mostly speculative, but now the NHL's most trusted insider, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, has confirmed that the Leafs have indeed come together with St. Louis and checked out what a deal for Parayko might look like.
Friedman did also reveal a few details about the trade that might make a deal for Parayko a little bit complicated. First off, Friedman pointed out the fact that Blues GM Doug Armstrong isn't going to make anything easy on the Leafs when it comes to dealing his top defenseman. Friedman drove home the point that it's going to be expensive. Secondly, Parayko owns a no trade clause, meaning that he'd have to sign off on the deal, and lastly, there are some concerns about his health - specifically his back.
"Those are the 3 wild cards you're dealing with; the acquisition price, the willingness of the player, and also, do you have any health concerns about him? But I do think this. I think, at the base, I think the Maple Leafs like the player." Friedman on the Leafs and Parayko

As far as the first piece goes, yes, a top pairing, right-shot defenseman with term (6 more years at $6.5M) is probably going to end up being costly. In terms of the player wanting to go, who wouldn't want another shot at a Stanley Cup? And third, the Leafs employ one of the top medical staffs in the NHL and would spare no expense to provide Parayko with the best medical care in the interest of his long-term health.
Is there a deal to be made here? I'm not positive that a deal will get done, but it is interesting to note that, in Joel Edmundson, the Leafs have acquired Parayko's D partner from that Stanley Cup run in St. Louis in 2019, so there might be something to the rumours and reports that the Leafs are indeed pushing to acquire Parayko before tomorrow's 3pm ET trade deadline.
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Insider reveals the latest on the Leafs and a Stanley Cup winning defenseman

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