NHL Rumors: Toronto Looking For Defense, Schenn, and Garland

Does Toronto Looking For Defense Surprise?

Jonas Siegel of The Athletic: The Toronto Maple Leafs played well all season on defense aside from October and playing the Boston Bruins. It was a Maple Leafs team lacking Auston Matthews, but the defensive breakdowns were telling.

Toronto needs some kind of reinforcements. From a defensive standpoint or even a team-defense perspective, Toronto has issues. This is especially true when it comes to playing teams like Tampa Bay and Boston. Realities of the playoff format dictate find a way or get eliminated again.

The Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren pairing worked poorly as Boston scored three times in all. Without Jake Muzzin, it feels like Toronto heads toward a familiar fate unlike the Leafs can find someone.

Potential solutions include left-handed shooting Vladislav Gavrikov from Columbus. That bumps one of the Swedes to the bench. Is that a bad thing? Bottom-paired defenseman need to be a bit more rugged to face a Boston or Tampa Bay. That is the reality.

Toronto possesses a defense that battles and performs great during the regular season. It is a blue line that falters during the postseason as space grows tighter. Getting pushed around is not ideal and the Maple Leafs need pushback options.

Vancouver Reinforcements For Toronto?

Harman Dayal and Joshua Kloke of The Athletic: So, what can Kyle Dubas do when it comes to acquiring reinforcements to get out of the first round? Could this involve talking to the Vancouver Canucks? Luke Schenn did this duty before for Toronto. Dubas knows what he is getting.

Now, a forward like Conor Garland becomes a bonus. Cost becomes higher obviously, but how much salary would Vancouver be willing to retain? It should rank superior over a costlier buyout option. The key word is should.

If there was a trade, 50% retained money is almost required. After that, a Garland and Schenn package deal probably does not fit much in the plans for Toronto. One thing is clear. Toronto feels the pressure as March 3rd looms.