Skip to main content

Will the Toronto Maple Leafs Shop for a Defenseman?

After the injuries to Morgan Rielly, Jake Muzzin and T.J. Brodie, speculation suggests the Toronto Maple Leafs may be more likely to make a trade.
Morgan Rielly

The Toronto Maple Leafs began this week with concerns over their blueline depth with Jake Muzzin and T.J. Brodie sidelined by injuries. Placing Morgan Rielly on long-term injured reserve with a knee injury could finally push management into the trade market.

Speculation was brewing in recent weeks over how the Leafs would address the absence of Muzzin, who's out until at least February with a cervical spine injury. Pundits have mentioned the Arizona Coyotes' Jakob Chychrun and the Anaheim Ducks' John Klingberg and Kevin Shattenkirk as trade options.

Sportsnet's Luke Fox recently suggested the San Jose Sharks' Erik Karlsson but admitted his $11.5-million cap hit and full no-movement clause are significant sticking points. The Toronto Star's Nick Kypreos proposed a scenario where San Jose retains half of Karlsson's cap hit and take on Muzzin's contract. However, that's unlikely to entice the Sharks into moving him to Toronto provided he's willing to waive his clause to join the Leafs.

Fox also brought up pending unrestricted free agents such as the Minnesota Wild's Matt Dumba, the New York Islanders' Scott Mayfield and the New Jersey Devils' Damon Severson. Those blueliners won't be shopped as long as their respective teams remain in playoff contention. Should they become available, their clubs could prefer waiting until the March 3 trade deadline to maximize their value.

Given Toronto's salary-cap limitations, they could have their eye on a more affordable option. Fox's colleague Elliotte Friedman cited sources telling him the Maple Leafs were interested in Conor Timmins. The 24-year-old Arizona Coyotes defenseman played with Leafs blueliner Rasmus Sandin with the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 2017-18.

TOP HEADLINES

Ilya Mikheyev
Play

Rollercoaster Canucks Pull Off Four-Goal Comeback Win

The Vancouver Canucks went from blowing their own leads early this season to coming back from 4-0 down to beat the Montreal Canadiens Monday night.

Olen Zellweger
Play

Reacting to Team Canada's 2023 World Junior Camp Roster

Team Canada’s preparing for the world juniors after naming 29 players to the camp roster. Tony Ferrari lists some surprises, snubs and other players to watch.

Logan Cooley
Play

Reacting to Team USA's 2023 World Junior Camp Roster

Tony Ferrari lists the snubs, the surprises, the first-year NHL draft eligible players and an X-factor as Team USA released its world junior camp roster on Monday.