Countdown to TradeCentre: Maple Leafs not done making moves?
The NHL's March 3 Trade Deadline is approaching and teams are making decisions on whether to buy, sell and decide which players can make the biggest difference and hold the greatest value. Check out today's trade rumours and speculation from around the NHL beat.
Maple Leafs not finished adding?
The Toronto Maple Leafs made a big splash Friday night, acquiring Ryan O'Reilly and Noel Acciari from the St. Louis Blues in a three-team trade that sent forwards Mikhail Abramov and Adam Gaudette along with a 2023 first-round draft pick, Ottawa’s 2023 third-round selection and the Leafs' 2024 second-round choice to St. Louis as well as a 2025 fourth-round pick to the Minnesota Wild for retaining 50 per cent of O'Reilly's cap hit.
However, TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger senses that Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas is not done making moves ahead of the March 3 NHL trade deadline.
Leafland is buzzing, as it should be. Sense is, Dubas isn’t done, which emphasizes an all-in approach. Kerfoot? Engvall? Holl? Kampf? What collateral does Toronto use for another move? Very curious to see if ROR is a 3c or if there’s big league experimenting on the wing.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 18, 2023
With no first-, second-, fourth- and seventh-round picks in this year's draft and no second- or third-round selections in 2024, Dreger wonders what other assets could be used for another trade, mentioning the likes of pending unrestricted free agents Alexander Kerfoot, Pierre Engvall, Justin Holl and David Kampf.
In the pipeline, the Maple Leafs have top prospect forward Matthew Knies, who has 18 goals and 34 points in 31 games this season at the University of Minnesota as well as Kamloops Blazers centre Fraser Minten, who has 25 goals in 41 games in 2022-23.
Toronto is looking for their first playoff series win since 2004. It is the third year in a row Dubas has acquired another team's captain at the trade deadline with Nick Foligno in 2021, Mark Giordano in 2022 and now O'Reilly.
TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun also reports that he doesn't expect contract talks between the newly acquired O'Reilly and the Maple Leafs for now. He notes that Toronto would've been high on O'Reilly's list as a pending unrestricted free agent so there might be mutual interest after the season but the focus is on the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs.
I don’t expect contract talks between newly acquired Ryan O’Reilly and the Leafs for now. But Toronto would have been high on the pending UFA’s list for July 1 so there might be mutual interest after the season. Focus is on stretch run and playoffs for now.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 18, 2023