Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas told reporters Tuesday that he would like to get his trade deadline shopping done sooner rather than later if deals are to be made given the mandatory 14-day quarantine for any incoming player.
He added that acquiring a rental player probably makes the most sense given the flat cap moving forward but didn't close the door on a hockey deal if it made sense.
The Leafs’ GM also made it clear he would potentially be willing to move a top prospect in order to improve his team this season.
TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger tweeted he believes Dubas’ willingness to move a top prospect also falls in line with being open to moving a first-round pick if the return was a near perfect fit.
"I would put (Nick) Robertson, (Rasmus) Sandin, (Timothy) Liljegren and (Rodin) Amirov in the same category as a 1st round pick," Dreger added.
I would put Robertson, Sandin, Liljegren and Amirov in the same category as a 1st round pick. https://t.co/v08eWZpcxC— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 16, 2021
Asked whether or not 2020-21 was Stanley Cup or bust, Dubas reiterated his desire to see the Leafs becoming a long-term competitor.
"In this position, my focus has to be on the long run and building a program that can reach our objective," Dubas said.
According to Dubas, most of the conversations he’s had leading up to the April 12 trade deadline have been forward related.
"We had to move out some forwards that were good for us in order to add on the back end and thus we feel like that's an area where we may want to look at a bit more,” Dubas said.
As for contract talks with pending unrestricted free agent forward Zach Hyman, Dubas didn’t give much away.
"I'm not going to comment on here any of the pending free agents, restricted or unrestricted. I just don't think it's productive at this time to do so,” he said.
The Leafs enter play Tuesday leading the North Divison at 19-9-2 and are on pace for their highest points percentage (.667) since the 1950-51 season.