It’s been a while since I posted my last article, I am trying to only write about things or opinions that really capture my attention. Of course the Leafs do that, but there is only so much you can write about the exact same topics over and over before you feel like a fool. I can not pass up the opportunity to talk about the Leafs untouchables this off season. Probably every blogger is going to write a similar article about why you don’t entertain offers on Matthews, Marner and Nylaner.. No shit lol you can go ask a 5 year old and they’ll know that. What I want to talk about are the untouchables that no one gives as much attention.
Other than the big 3 there are only a few other guys I wouldn’t consider moving, yes I know if you want to get value you have to give value back. The value I feel that we would get back for these guys doesn’t necessarily make the team better in my opinion. The players are Kadri, Brown, Hyman and Gardiner.
First up is Jake Gardiner…. Last season I was all for trading Gardiner in a package for that right hand defenseman, judging by his play during the season and in the playoffs yes you could move him and get a decent return. But why? You want to add another Dman into that top 4 of Rielly, Zaitsev and Gardiner. Trading him for another dman in my opinion is useless for this team going forward. You want to add into that top 4, not replace 1 for 1 with a “better” player as that still leaves a hole. So unless you’re getting a #1 defenseman in a deal for him id prefer to keep him and add into that top 4.
Connor Brown and Hyman sort of fall into the same mold. I like Brown more than Hyman but you cant deny their PK abilities, that amazing work ethic and some offensive talent and speed. I’m still not a fan of Hyman with Matthews but that’s for a different article, the value you would get back for these guys alone isn’t too high and I would rather have them on the roster as they were key members of the PK unit this season and those are hard to come especially ones that excel at killing penalties.
Lastly Nazem Kadri, I’ve seen people talk about trading Kadri because his value is high… What do you get back though? A similar player to fill the same role, probably at a higher salary cap. Stupid…just stupid to even mention his name.
Seeing what this team is capable of, the goal would be to keep the core together and add in pieces with picks and prospects. Whose to say the Leafs management are even wanting to go in that direction? All of these players are signed to decent contracts or will be in the case of Brown and Hyman, All of these players are a key member to this team especially on special teams and the specific role Babcock has put them into.
Now If I had to play devils advocate and choose one of them to trade… Zack Hyman would be the odd man out. I would rather be trading guys like JVR, Sosh, Carrick, unproven prospects like Bracco or Nielson. What about draft picks? Its fun to talk about trade rumors but packaging multiple roster players to get one back doesn’t necessarily make your team better unless his name is Mcdavid or Crosby. This is the critical time in this rebuild where the Leafs don’t jump ahead of themselves and need to stay patient.
I am all for adding a player or two, especially with he expansion draft causing a stir this off season and players may be available for a cheaper rate. I would love to see Josh Manson in the blue and white or Brodin/Dumba. All could be available because of the expansion draft. Some rumor twitter accounts like to stir the pot and get your mouth watering with names like doughty… Trust me it caught my attention but its just not feasible. The thing I think about is, are the players you’re getting going to fill the multiple holes you create by trading multiple key roster players? If you answer yes then cool, but more often than not they wont. I am more of a roster player plus prospects or picks to upgrade.
Shoot some trade ideas at me, or who you think the leafs should take a look at this off season. Also Congrats to Phil the Thrill now a 2 time Stanley cup champ!!