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Leafs need goaltending, Preds need help. Could a Marner for Saros trade shake up the NHL this summer?

The Nashville Predators enter a crossroads this offseason. With the aging core of Roman Josi and Filip Forsberg still under contract, decisions loom about the future direction of the franchise. Additionally, do the Predators invest in a long-term extension for Juuse Saros – a stellar goalie, but arguably one with a limited ceiling in a rebuilding environment?

Meanwhile, the Toronto Maple Leafs seem destined for yet another first-round playoff exit next season if change does not happen. Their perpetual offensive firepower isn’t enough to mask glaring defensive and, at times, goaltending woes. Could a major shakeup involving star forward Mitch Marner solve some of their problems?

A Juuse Saros for Mitch Marner trade would undoubtedly be a blockbuster and Joe Rexrode of The Athletic thinks this trade should happen.

Could a Juuse Saros for Mitch Marner Blockbuster Trade Help Both Teams?

1. The Predators’ Rebuild Timeline

While Saros is a fantastic goalie, he’s 29. Realistically, it may be several years before the Predators are true contenders. Investing heavily in a goalie entering his 30s aligns poorly with a potential retool or rebuild. Yaroslav Askarov, a highly touted prospect, waits in the wings. Trading Saros frees up salary cap space to add complementary pieces for Josi and Forsberg while their windows to contend remain somewhat open.

2. The Leafs’ Desperate Need for a Star Goalie

The tandem of Ilya Samsonov and Joseph Woll hasn’t inspired confidence in Toronto. Saros is a consistent performer and a clear upgrade. This is vital for a team focused on making a deep playoff run.

3. The Financial Implications

Marner is a dynamic playmaker, but his hefty salary cap hit is a burden for Toronto. Saros, while still expensive, would provide a slightly cheaper solution in goal, allowing the Leafs to chase a top defenseman with the extra cap room.

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