Moves made by Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving already receiving glowing reviews

Nick Matthews
July 2, 2024  (10:42)

Brad Treliving
Photo credit: Sportsnet

The Maple Leafs' risky trade for Chris Tanev's rights and his subsequent extension has proven to be the right move by GM Brad Treliving.

The Toronto Maple Leafs were a busy bunch during the first few hours of free agency. Their D corps has changed significantly in a short amount of time, and despite what many believed was an overpay on Chris Tanev and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, these deals have shown to be anything but an overpay.
After the Leafs acquired Tanev's rights on Saturday and signing him to a 6-year deal on Monday with a AAV of $4.5M, the Leafs then opted to sign Ekman-Larsson, formerly of the Florida Panthers, to a 4-year deal worth $3.5M per season.
While they did spend a combined $8M on these two veteran defensemen, the Leafs actually dodged a bullet, as Twitter/X user "McCluskey" pointed out below. Two players they chose not to retain, Ilya Lyubushkin and Joel Edmundson, were signed to deals that almost equal what the Leafs paid for two much better blueliners.
''Here's the easiest round of ‘Would you rather' you'll ever play:

Tanev & Ekman-Larsson = $8m AAV


Lyubushkin & Edmundson = $7.15m AAV''<\q>

There's no question that Tanev and OEL are a much better duo than Lyubushkin and Edmundson, who are both nothing more than 3rd pairing defensemen.

Leafs GM Brad Treliving made some intelligent decisions on day 1 of free agency, opting for smart salary allocation as opposed to overpaying to keep certain players in the organization.

Whether or not Tanev and/or OEL pan out is yet to be determined, but there's no arguing that the Leafs will get a better bang for their buck with Tanev and Ekman-Larsson than they would have gotten by paying Edmundson and Lyubushkin a combined $7.15M.

The Source for Tanev's contract details: PuckPedia
Chris Tanev contract