Everyone knows that the Toronto Maple Leafs are a soft team, last nights game against the San Jose Sharks just proved it with them being outhit 25-11 and they were beaten consistently for puck battles.
GM Kyle Dubas likes a highly skilled team but skill alone will not win championships, a team needs grit and the Leafs have none.
The Maple Leafs have salary cap space available to make a big trade. Jake Muzzin is likely done for the year and Dubas must use that cap space to make a trade, but who will he target?
Will the Toronto Maple Leafs trade for Patrick Kane?
The Maple Leafs have been tied to a Patrick Kane trade since the summer. Kane does not fix the Leafs problem with the lack of gritty players, but he fits into Kyle Dubas’ vision of having a highly skilled team to win a Stanley Cup.
Kane is not the player the Leafs need.
Jakob Cychrun will be a Leaf soon?
Jakob Chychrun is expected to be back in the lineup in a few weeks and the Toronto Maple Leafs will be all-in on a trade. The problem is the asking price is too high.
Dubas is willing to give up a first round pick and prospect, but that prospect not being one of Nick Robertson or Matthew Knies.
The Arizona Coyotes are asking for two first round picks and a top prospect in a Chychrun trade. They have told teams they are willing to take a bad contract back to complete a trade.
The only issue with the Leafs making a Chychrun trade is the player is injury prone. He is 24 years old, has grit, can hit, score, but his body has been through a lot at his young age and that is a big risk for the Leafs to give up assets for an injury prone player.
Is Matt Dumba the answer for the Leafs?
A lot of teams have salary cap trouble, but the Minnesota Wild top the list with the buyouts of Ryan Suter and Zach Parise on the books. Suter and Parise are still owed an insane amount of over $12 million in 2022-23, $14 million in 2023-24 and 2024-25.
The Wild see themselves as playoff contenders so would they be willing to trade Dumba or use him as their own playoff rental?
The Leafs should be all-in on a Dumba trade. He provides grit, can score, moves the puck out of the defensive zone. Plus they have the assets to make the trade.
It will be interesting to see what the Leafs do with Muzzin’s salary. Do they add a player like Chychrun or Dumba or trade for more offence in Patrick Kane?
If the Leafs continue to lose and show lack of desire in puck battles, a trade will happen sooner rather than later.