NHL Rumors: Toronto Maple Leafs blue line questions, and is John Klingberg an LTIR candidate?

Sportsnet: David Amber, Nick Kypreos and Justin Boure talk about the Toronto Maple Leafs blue line and what is needed.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

Amber: “Alright, let’s have a bigger picture now and we talked about the Leafs defensive core and, you know, Jake McCabe clearly one of the glue guys there. So here’s their, sort of their defensive, defensive depth chart. Easy to say (Conor) Timmins, (Timothy) Liljgren, (John) Klingberg all injured. Klingberg is part of the equation here as well right Nick?

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Kypreos: “He is, and we believe that Conor Timmins will be available as early as next week, next weekend, Chicago and Pittsburgh.

But Klingberg’s the question mark here, where you’re going, moving forward with him. And, you know, speculation for me has everything to do with maybe two hip surgeries earlier in his career and whether or not those are coming back to haunt him right now.

But then the bigger question is, guys, the names Zadorov, Tanev, they’re out there. Who else is out there? Who would the Leafs potentially be competing against? And you know, just to bring this back full circle with you JB, if, if McCabe is the McCabe that the Leafs thought they were getting, does that make a Zadorov less attractive? Can you have Zadorov and McCabe in the same lineup?

Is Zadorov better than McCabe?

Bourne: “If you look at what the Leafs don’t have, I think you would say, big strong guys who hit, which McCabe does do, and provide some offense which Zadorov does do, McCabe not so much.

So he does have some elements the Leafs don’t have. But good McCabe might provide some of that. He also makes $2 million for them, which is really nice this year and next.

Kypreos: “And yeah, for me, is Zadorov, is he a legit top-four? I don’t think so. I think he’s McCabe when McCabe’s on and yeah, I get it, he’s bigger and he can have a bigger impact on hits.”

Amber: “He did have 14 goals last year. He did, he did provide some offensive we haven’t seen from many Leafs blue liners though.”

Bourne: The Leafs getting none of that. They had no offense from the backend at all.

Kypreos: I just don’t know if he’s a top-four type of guy for a team like the Leafs who still expect to be…”

Amber: So who would be the fit then Nick if you’re playing, you know, it’s hard because…”

Kypreos: “The biggest problem here is like many teams it’s money-in money-out.

Amber: “Yes.”

Kypreos: “So what are you going to have to sacrifice. But for me the Leafs would have to focus on a legit top-four. Out of Calgary, I think Hanifin would be much better for the Leafs in a perfect world, outside of how do you get him then a guy like Zadorov.

Bourne: “Is Klingberg even tradable though, like given this injury stuff. Like he’s a guy you’re talking money out?

Kypreos: “Yeah, no, no. Klingberg’s at the point now where it could cost you a draft pick or a prospect to get his money out as early as now.

Bourne: “Any chance he’s LTIR candidate?

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Kypreos: “I think there’s an excellent chance based on what we hear out of Sweden.”

Amber: “Wow. So that’s interesting. Something to keep an eye on, and again, trade headlines until March 8th, so say some of this juice for the next few months. But clearly the Leafs, it does look like they will be eventually in the market of course to keep adding depth.