Kraken alternate captain Adam Larsson
Photo credit: USA Today Sports

One defenseman who should be at the very top of the list for the Maple Leafs

Published February 26, 2024 at 11:11
BY MIKE ARMENTI

The NHL's trade deadline is now just 9 days away, and given how close we are now, we may finally be nearing the point where teams begin to hold players out of the lineup for precautionary reasons, preserving their health for a trade. This also means that rumour season is in full swing and we're going to begin to hear more names being tossed around than ever before.

With the Leafs still in the market for at least one defenseman ahead of next week's trade deadline, there are no shortage of names that they've been linked to this season, most notably Chris Tanev, Noah Hanifin, Alexandre Carrier and Sean Walker, among others. While any of these players would likely improve the Leafs' blueline, there's one defenseman out there who fits what the Leafs are looking for to a T. He also happens to play for a team who may be considering selling off assets before the deadline.

Adam Larsson is not a name that we've heard linked to the Leafs an awful lot, but make no mistake about it, there's no better player out there right now who checks as many boxes in Toronto as Larsson does.

Larsson is a right shot defenseman, which checks the first box. He has term remaining on his current contract, which checks another box. He carries a very modest cap hit of $4M per season through 2024-25, which checks another. He kills penalties, which checks yet another important box. He is a very physical defenseman, he blocks a ton of shots, he logs huge minutes on a nightly basis and at just 31 years old, he's 3 years younger than the Leafs' top perceived target in Chris Tanev (34).


It's worth mentioning that Leafs GM Brad Treliving and Kraken GM Ron Francis have come together on multiple trades in the past, so there is a good bargaining relationship there as well. That may seem like a minor detail, but it's actually vitally important, as both guys clearly know what makes the other tick at the trade negotiating table.

While Tanev is still a very good fit for the Leafs, if the cost to acquire either Tanev or Larsson is close, I'd be putting my eggs into the Larsson basket if I was Treliving. He's not only younger and cheaper, but checks more boxes in my opinion. Would the Kraken entertain the idea of moving him? That's the biggest question here, but if the answer is yes, then the Leafs should absolutely table an offer, because he might be the best option and the best fit for the Leafs, at least in my opinion.
POLL
February 26   |   546 answers
One defenseman who should be at the very top of the list for the Maple Leafs

Is Adam Larsson the perfect deadline addition for the Toronto Maple Leafs?

Yes35565 %
No19135 %
LIST OF POLL
Latest 10 stories