The Toronto Maple Leafs are gearing up for a push towards the NHL playoffs and a recent report suggests they might make two young prospects available.
When it was reported the Maple Leafs might be willing to move their first-round draft choice before the upcoming trade deadline, that came as a bit of a shocker considering it wasn't long ago GM Kyle Dubas said he was not going to look to the rental market to boost the fortunes of his team this season. New reports suggest that Dubas has since changed his mind, and while he'd prefer to add a player with term, he's willing to go the rental route if the right deal is there.
Things are even more interesting now as new reports suggest Dubas is really ready to make a push and young prospects, who could be budding stars, Kasperi Kapanen and Andres Johnsson might be available as well.
Bob McKenzie confirmed that the Toronto Maple Leafs would consider trading Andreas Johnsson or Kasperi Kapanen if the right situation presented itself. He explained, “If you’re gonna get a good defenceman and they obviously want to get a good defenceman, you’ve got to give up something of value.” McKenzie then told First Up on TSN Radio 1050 Toronto, “And not only would the first-round pick be in play, but I’ve been saying for quite some time now – take your pick, but one of Andreas Johnsson or Kasperi Kapanen will be gone too in the most likely scenario.”
What This Means
If the Maple Leafs end up moving Kapanen and Johnsson along with their first-rounder, you know that there is a huge piece coming back to the Maple Leafs and the team is all in on a run for the Stanley Cup this season.
Toronto was looking at difficult decisions when it came to a number of their expiring contracts and Kapanen and Johnsson were on that list of players that might be too expensive to keep. Grabbing the defenseman you need plus moving out players you can't afford to keep make sense from a Maple Leafs' perspective. The trick will be, can Toronto land a player they can keep moving forward so that this year isn't the only year they stay a contender?