What trades will the Toronto Maple Leafs do this off-season? They need to upgrade their defenceman, will they re-sign Brian Boyle? Go after Drew Doughty?
Damion Cox of the Toronto Star reports the Toronto Maple Leafs should pursue Drew Doughty if the LA Kings make him available? Questionable and costly, although tempting if the opportunity comes along. They’re going to know by mid-summer, meanwhile, if they have any shot at John Tavares, or whether the New York Islanders will successfully retain him.
Trade-wise, with about $16 million (goodbye Messrs. Robidas, Greening, Michalek, Laich) coming off the books, the Leafs have more room than some teams, and many of those teams (Dallas, L.A., Tampa) will be looking to adjust their rosters. But with new contracts for Matthews et al coming in the next few years, the Leafs have to be mindful of committing to expensive, long-term deals. So you might anticipate adding one significant contract, but not more than that.
Would, for example, the Leafs take a run at 34-year-old Ilya Kovalchuk as a possible linemate for Matthews if Kovalchuk is serious about coming back to the NHL after scoring 32 goals for St. Petersburg last year?
A final decision will also have to be made on whether to extend James van Riemsdyk or trade him.
Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun reports the Toronto Maple Leafs will likely complete Nikita Zaitsev’s long-rumoured seven-year deal.
The wild card is whether Toronto joins the trade market for blueline help in July. They didn’t get into the expensive pursuit of Kevin Shattenkirk at the trade deadline and the projected UFA class this summer appears headlined by Andrei Markov, Mark Streit and Dennis Wideman, all well into their 30s.