Toronto Maple Leafs President and Alternate Governor Brendan Shanahan with Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brad Treliving
Photo credit: The Canadian Press - Chris Young

Leafs GM Brad Treliving using every resource at his disposal to ensure that he finds the right deadline pieces

Published February 16, 2024 at 2:03 PM

With the March 8th trade deadline now less than 3 weeks out, it appears that the Toronto Maple Leafs are putting in the work to determine the best course of action at this year's trade deadline. The Leafs are sitting on limited assets with which to bargain, so whoever they pursue, they're going to have to do their due diligence to make sure they can make their moves count.

In recent weeks, the Leafs have been deploying their scouts and watching teams closely as they ramp up their efforts to zero in on their targets. Now, it appears as though they've taken their search to the next level, increasing their scouting activity with the deadline looming.

Last night, there were many scouts at both the Kraken/Bruins game and the Blackhawks Penguins game. Toronto had representatives present at both games.

Brad Treliving has been looking at Chicago a lot this season while he hopes to make some impactful additions down the stretch. The problem is, he doesn't want to give up much of this team's assets unless it's for the right piece.

In the games scouted last night by Toronto, there are some interesting pieces on three of the teams that may end up being sellers this season.

Let's start with Chicago. There are some rentals in Chicago that the Leafs could look into, including Tyler Johnson, who could easily round out the middle-six in Toronto and provide some secondary scoring, as he has 10 goals this season. Another piece that might intrigue the Leafs is Philipp Kurashev, who has 1 year remaining after this one at a very reasonable $2.25M. Kurashev has 9 goals and 29 points for the Hawks this season.

Reilly Smith might be a piece in Pittsburgh that could interest Leafs GM Brad Treliving. Smith won the Cup with Vegas in 2023 and has played a lot of meaningful hockey, accumulating 79 playoff points in 106 games, but he does have a modified no trade clause. His $5M cap hit this season and next would require some salary retention on Kyle Dubas' part, though.

If Seattle falls out of the Wild Card race before the trade deadline and decide to become sellers, there are a few names that stand out if available. These names include forward rentals Eeli Tolvanen and Kailer Yamamoto, who are both pending restricted free agents, who would remain under team control unless left without a qualifying offer. Alexander Wennberg is another option, as we know the Leafs are looking to bolster their roster and potentially add a 3C.

Seattle also has a strong blueline and if the price is right, any one of them could improve the blueline in Toronto. A few names that stick out in particular are their right-handed defensemen such as Adam Larsson, Justin Schultz, and William Borgen. Larsson has been a steady defenseman for over a decade, Schultz won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017 with Pittsburgh, and Borgen is a hard-hitting late bloomer who could be a solid third pairing addition.

Brad Treliving will continue to look at different players and different teams as we get closer to the deadline, but it will be interesting to see whether or not the Leafs GM scouts any of these teams in person over the next week or two leading up to the deadline.
February 16   |   549 answers
Leafs GM Brad Treliving using every resource at his disposal to ensure that he finds the right deadline pieces

Which team makes the most sense for the Leafs to deal with at the deadline?

Seattle11921.7 %
Chicago509.1 %
Calgary38069.2 %
Other00 %
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