Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe
Photo credit: NHL

Sheldon Keefe confirms something very exciting about the Leafs' deadline plans

Published February 29, 2024 at 12:04

The Toronto Maple Leafs took two pretty big swings this season, attempting to acquire both Nikita Zadorov and Chris Tanev from the Calgary Flames, but to no avail. Zadorov was the first to be dealt, heading to the Vancouver Canucks several weeks ago, while Tanev was dealt last night to the Dallas Stars. Unfortunately, these missed moves have kept the Leafs at square one.

Reports have been all over the place in recent weeks on whether the Leafs will make a move for a high-end defender, trade for a piece or two who may not be the biggest names, but whom they feel can help the team, or just stand pat and do nothing at the deadline. Well, on Thursday, Sheldon Keefe tipped his hand and revealed that the Leafs are indeed working towards improving the team by next week.

Keefe met with the media after practice on Thursday, ahead of Thursday night's clash with the Arizona Coyotes, and confirmed that he and GM Brad Treliving talk daily about potential roster additions. He also confirmed that Treliving is burning the midnight oil, working the phones tirelessly to try to get something done.

"He's doing all he can to try to help our team, at the same time recognizing that the team's played really well."

Keefe said something very important in his response about potential deadline additions, which is that they recognize that the team is playing well, which means that they don't want to make any moves that may disrupt the chemistry in the lineup following a 7-game win streak. What we can take away from this is that it likely means that they aren't pondering any moves involving pending UFAs like Tyler Bertuzzi or Max Domi and that they may not be entertaining the idea of Nicholas Robertson, who has also been playing very well of late.

Part of me wonders whether this was an indicator that the team could look to move Calle Jarnkrok, who has been sidelined with a broken knuckle over the last month. Jarnkrok was back at practice today and could return to action next week, so a move involving the Swedish winger wouldn't disrupt the current lineup and would also free up $2.1M in cap space. Just some food for thought.
February 29   |   780 answers
Sheldon Keefe confirms something very exciting about the Leafs' deadline plans

How many pieces are the Leafs away from being a true contender?

Just 1 solid top-4 defenseman away15620 %
Probably at least 2 pieces away41553.2 %
They need at least 3 pieces to be legit20926.8 %
They're nowhere close to being a real contender00 %
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