With John Klingberg landing on Long-Term Injured Reserve (LTIR), the Toronto Maple Leafs find themselves in a unique position to bolster their blue line.
They now have $4.15 million in salary cap space, ripe for acquiring a seasoned defenseman to fill the void. But who are the top candidates? Here’s a look at two potential defensemen who might don the Maple Leafs jersey before the Christmas break.
Will the Leafs trade for Chris Tanev or Matt Dumba?
- Chris Tanev – Calgary Flames: General Manager Craig Conroy of the Calgary Flames has been active in the trade market, recently sending Nikita Zadorov to the Vancouver Canucks. This move has shifted the focus to Chris Tanev, a seasoned defenseman known for his physical play.
The Maple Leafs have long admired Tanev’s style, and with their salary cap space expanding, they are in a good position to integrate him into their roster. Tanev’s experience and robust defensive play could be exactly what Toronto needs to strengthen their back end.
- Matt Dumba – Arizona Coyotes: Currently on a one-year contract worth $3.9 million with the Coyotes, Matt Dumba could find a new home with the Maple Leafs.
Despite a modest output of two goals and four points in 23 games this season, Dumba’s average ice time of over 20 minutes is a testament to his reliability. Known for his right-handed shot and competitive nature, Dumba could seamlessly fit into Toronto’s defensive lineup, either in the second or third pairing. The Leafs could greatly benefit from his tenacity and skill, making him a strong contender to fill the gap left by Klingberg.
The upcoming weeks leading to the NHL trade deadline are crucial for the Maple Leafs. As they assess their options, the addition of either Tanev or Dumba could significantly impact their defensive dynamics.