Pens GM and President Kyle Dubas
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Pair of teams in the East officially open for business ahead of Friday's trade deadline

Published March 4, 2024 at 10:39
BY MIKE ARMENTI

The Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to be among the buyers at this week's trade deadline, which is set for this Friday, March 8th. There are plenty of intriguing names on the market, but to this point, there haven't been very many teams who have hung up the "open for business" sign. Now, we have two Eastern Conference teams who have officially declared themselves as sellers.

The Buffalo Sabres are a team who possess a number of promising young players, which they have surrounded with some quality veteran talent, but for whatever reason, their upswing is a little slower than expected. Success is not linear and the Sabres' time will come, but it's not this season. With a 29-29-4 record through 62 games, they're sitting 6th in the Atlantic Division with little hope of catching Tampa or Detroit, who currently hold a 10-point cushion over the Sabres.

Another team who were expected to be buyers at the beginning of the year who have now become sellers is the Pittsburgh Penguins. Currently sitting 7th in the Metropolitan Division, the Pens are 9 points back of Pennsylvania rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers in the Metro Division race and 10 points back of both the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning in the Wild Card race.

An aging core in Pittsburgh is a part of the problem, but ex-Leafs GM Kyle Dubas has not done a great job in surrounding them with the right pieces either. Aside from a high-profile trade for Erik Karlsson, Dubas really hasn't given the team the tools they need to be successful, even with one of the best coaches in the game in Mike Sullivan. Per David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, they have a number of pieces that they're expected to sell off at the deadline as a result.




Are there any pieces in Buffalo or Pittsburgh that could benefit the Leafs? I'm sure there are, but I'm also sure that Dubas isn't going to be in any rush to help the Leafs out in any way after being fired back in May of 2023. Then there's the little matter of the Sabres being an Atlantic Division rival, so they're not likely to be in any rush to help the Leafs out either, unless they're getting something very enticing for their troubles.

At any rate, with just a few days remaining until the deadline, we're really starting to see the market take shape as contending teams look to bolster their rosters ahead of the playoffs. It should be an interesting few days.
POLL
March 4   |   221 answers
Pair of teams in the East officially open for business ahead of Friday's trade deadline

Which team do you think the Leafs would be more likely to deal with at this point?

Pittsburgh4118.6 %
Buffalo6027.1 %
Both, if the offers are fair for both sides12054.3 %
Neither, it just doesn't make sense00 %
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