NHL Trade Speculation: 10 Players the Leafs Could Pursue to Make a Playoff Push
Evidenced by their season-worst four-game losing streak, the Toronto Maple Leafs might not have the power in their lineup to make the playoffs.
With the trade deadline less than two weeks away, Brian Burke doesn't have very much time to shop for the player that he needs. He will most likely have to overpay for any of the bigger players that he covets.
Here are 10 players that the Leafs could be after in the next 12 days.
Let's start off with the big one.
I wrote in an article on Monday that I thought that Nash would never be traded out of Columbus. Well, it looks like I could be proven wrong. With the Columbus Blue Jackets now willing to talk trade, the Leafs should definitely be interested.
Even with his big contract that has six years left on it, Burke wouldn't shy away from making a trade that would bring Toronto it's first league-wide superstar since Mats Sundin.
To Toronto: Rick Nash, Boone Jenner
To Columbus: Mikhail Grabovski, Nazem Kadri, Carl Gunnarson, Jonas Gustavsson, 2012 first-round pick, Jerry D'Amigo
Even with the injury that occurred a few days ago, the Leafs could still take a chance on Tuomo Ruutu. Toronto needs a player like Ruutu, as he can do pretty much anything on the ice. It's a case of "he's not great at anything, but he's good at everything."
Toronto should go after Ruutu, but not at the price the Carolina Hurricanes are asking; it's too much to give up a top prospect and a first-rounder for a player like Ruutu.
To Toronto: Tuomo Ruutu
To Carolina: Nazem Kadri, 2012 third-round pick
Derek Roy might be a good fit in Toronto. Of course, the one huge obstacle in acquiring Roy is that Toronto and Buffalo are in the same division. Since no one really likes to make moves within their own division, this one would be tough to pull off.
He would fit in perfectly on the second line if Grabovski is moved, but he might fit on the first line if he were given the chance.
To Toronto: Derek Roy
To Buffalo: Matthew Lombardi, Jerry D'Amigo, 2012 third-round pick
I would say this has a pretty good chance of happening if Toronto can't find a bigger deal. With the connection that Penner and Brian Burke have, I'm sure that Burkie would love to have a player he lost in Anaheim back on his team.
If this deal happens, it might be the only true hockey deal that happens, as the Kings and Leafs are both fighting for playoff spots and both will want to make sure they both get better.
To Toronto: Dustin Penner
To Los Angeles: Colby Armstrong, 2012 third-round pick
Another divisional deal, Toronto could go after Travis Moen of Montreal. He might not be the biggest name out there, but he would be a help to a young Leafs team that doesn't have much playoff experience.
Moen is another player who was with Burke in Anaheim. He's a veteran that knows what it takes to win and he would fit in the bottom six perfectly.
To Toronto: Travis Moen
To Montreal: 2012 third-round pick
If Buffalo doesn't want to give Roy to Toronto, maybe the Leafs could go after Paul Gaustad. A pesky center who is great at faceoffs and can play a rough game, players like Gaustad are ideal third-line centers in the NHL.
If the Sabres are confident that they will not sign Gaustad in the offseason, they might be willing to trade him to anyone to get something rather than nothing.
To Toronto: Paul Gaustad
To Buffalo: Matthew Lombardi
One of the most unheralded players in Vancouver, Mason Raymond could be moved if the right deal is offered. He would provide secondary scoring the Leafs desperately need.
The question is what Vancouver would want in return, as they don't want to ruin their chances at the Stanley Cup.
To Toronto: Mason Raymond, 2012 first-round pick
To Vancouver: Clarke MacArthur, Matthew Lombardi, 2012 second-round pick
OK, so is not very likely. If Teemu Selanne is to move, it will most likely be to a team that has a much firmer grip on a playoff spot. That being said, he does have the connection to Burke and if Burke throws the right offer, it could happen.
The other wrench is Selanne's no-trade clause.
To Toronto: Teemu Selanne
To Anaheim: 2012 first- and second-round picks
Burke: "You willing to send us Derek Roy?"
Darcy Regier: "No."
Burke: "How about Paul Gaustad?"
Burke: "Well then, how about Brad Boyes."
Regier: "Oh, alright."
Boyes would most likely be the easiest player to acquire from the Sabres. Since he was only acquired for a second-round pick last year, it shouldn't take that much.
To Toronto: Brad Boyes
To Buffalo: 2012 third-round pick
Brian Burke might be saying that he's not looking for a goalie, but if he has to give one up to acquire a player like Nash, they're going to need a replacement. Rather than bringing up Ben Scrivens, the Leafs should go after Josh Harding.
Trapped under Nicklas Backstrom's shadow for years, Harding would relish the opportunity to become the starter in Toronto.
To Toronto: Josh Harding
To Minnesota: Clarke MacArthur