Going into next season, most would say that the two most pressing needs of the Toronto Maple Leafs are a starting goalie and a No. 1 center. While I would agree that adding one or both of those pieces would greatly increase the Leafs' chances at making the playoffs next season, I believe that adding another defenseman to the roster would go the furthest in ensuring a playoff berth next April.
Assuming Cody Franson re-signs (which is not necessarily a given), the Leafs defence currently looks something like this:
Phaneuf - Gunnarsson
Gardiner - Liles
Franson - Komisarek
Although their blue line isn't necessarily weak, it’s questionable whether Franson, Komisarek or Holzer will be able to handle full-time NHL duty.
Adding a budding superstar such as Subban could solidify the Leafs defence for next season, as well as for the future.
It is questionable whether or not Subban, currently a restricted free agent, will re-sign in Montreal. Subban is said to be holding out for a long-term, big-money deal. After reportedly turning down a two-year, $5.5 million offer from the Canadiens, the two sides appear to be very far apart in negotiations.
Rather than risk Subban going out and signing a huge offer sheet with another team, it may be a smart move for the Canadiens to deal the 23-year-old defenseman and get some valuable pieces in return.
Although it seems unlikely Montreal would deal a great young player such as Subban to a division rival such as the Maple Leafs, stranger things have happened.
Subban, who tallied seven goals and 29 assists in 81 games last season, would instantly be a difference-maker on the Leafs' blue line. His combination of grit and skill would provide the Leafs with a lot of what they are missing. In addition to everything he brings to the table, Subban's "in your face" style of play will make him an instant favourite among Leafs fans.
A future top four of Phaneuf, Gardiner, Subban and Rielly could prove to be a dominant force in the league. That is why I think that the Leafs should consider adding PK Subban.