Here we are ten games in the season and ready to kick off a season full of trade rumors. Who doesn’t love speculation? Oh most of the people. It’s good. Especially when the Leafs are doing well, it’s not always easy to think about upgrades, the playoffs, the expansion draft, the free agency and beyond.
However, what we are beginning to see is the pickup in the trading market. And since the Laine / Dubois trade serves as evidence that a 14-day quarantine won’t hold them back, we might as well be thinking about what the Leafs might be up to.
Speculation about Dermott
While not a trade rumor, there has been speculation from The Athletic’s Thomas Drance that Dermott might address the need for a defense attorney in Vancouver.
Dermott isn’t a dynamic player on the same level as Dunn, but where the Blues want a choice and don’t need a player in return, the Maple Leafs are looking for a top 9 capable striker. There are currently two players in Vancouver – Gaudette and Virtanen – who scored a goal at 40 points last season and are currently in and out of the line-up.
Drance mentions that Dermott may not be the preferred option in Vancouver and that he may not go with it, but Jake Virtan’s proposed return might appeal to some Leafs fans based on name recognition and the fact that he is missing a physical game in the leafs.
There’s also the little fact that Dermott was damn good for the Leafs and keeping him on the line should be a priority at this point. As much as Lehtonen is a stranger we’re looking forward to, and he certainly parried a good goal line and assisted on Saturday night, Dermott is clearly the better option at this point.
The factor in the Leafs situation going into the draft expansion and the need for injury depth to prematurely surrender an NHL-caliber defender to address an issue that could be covered by the return of Thornton and Robertson seems like a bad GMing to be. I would assume Dermott stays here, especially while the Rielly-Brodie pairing remains unpredictable.
Lastly, why we should probably cool it down with Dermott, since Victor Mete and Vince Dunn are currently available, there are teams that are more actively in a sales position than the Leafs. The biggest argument in favor of shopping for Dermott could be seeing what Toronto has in Sandin and getting it right that Dermott offers them an everyday gaming situation. In that case, I’d assume they’d look into western US trading partners so the Leafs don’t have to face Dermott anytime soon.
Chiasson on waivers
Chiasson (EDM) on waivers
– Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 1, 2021
Alex Chiasson is available from the Edmonton Oilers. It should be noted that the Leafs cannot afford to add it directly so I am not suggesting that they will make a claim. What I am suggesting is that after the fact the Leafs could consider a deal for Chiasson to bring him in if it is possible to make room for him by shuffling the salary or getting the Oilers to keep it . I suspect this is out of the question, but a sizable secondary goalscorer for the bottom six fits what Toronto was looking for.
Sam Bennett asked for a deal?
While the Flames deny that there was a formal request, there have been reports that his agent (the infamous) Darren Ferris has suggested that Bennett needs a change of scene.
Bennett wasn’t very good and certainly didn’t keep his contract. He’s apparently not living up to his contract, but with a change of scene that could include trying out additional scoring situations instead of the bottom six roles, he could get better results than he did at Calgary.
I suspect there really is no way to get Bennett’s contract working, and the Leafs’ interest in doing more business with Darren Ferris is likely also slim, but it’s not surprising that Leafs fans have Bennett as a potential option were attracted. I just wouldn’t hold my breath and wait for this to happen unless the Flames inexplicably want to keep the salary or take the salary back, but good luck finding the salary the Leafs want to drop where Bennett is the return .
While I have little doubt that the Leafs will be actively winning players this season, especially towards the end of the deadline, it seems premature to take action. For now, the focus will be on getting Robertson, Thornton and Campbell back.
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