NHL Rumors: What areas the Toronto Maple Leafs could look to improve ahead of the trade deadline

The Leafs Nation: Matt Larkin when asked what Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas should do ahead of the March 3rd NHL trade deadline.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

Nick Alberga: “Thought of guy returning for the Detroit Red Wings night. He’s been linked to the Leafs for like five years. Tyler Bertuzzi.

So, I’m going to put you on the hot seat. You’re Kyle Dubas, what are you trying to accomplish between now and March 3rd, Matt?”

Larkin: “I think the shopping list for Kyle Dubas is getting longer than I thought it was going to be a few months ago, I’d have to admit. I mentioned the heavy, skilled forward and Tyler Bertuzzi, that could be a good example.

It’s the equivalent, the Leafs need to find their version of what Nic Paul brought to the Tampa Bay Lightning last year. So it could be an all situations forward. Even a middle-six forward who can play up in the lineup. I think Bertuzzi has the grit. He’s not that big of a guy but he plays with an edge.

But we know of course, the D corps could use another really solid top-four reliable player. A long-term replacement for Jake Muzzin. And someone with a little bit of braun, a little bit of grit to his game. I’ve said this for the last couple of years, teams picked on Jake Muzzin. They realized he was the only player who would answer the bell on that D corps. That’s why Muzzin took so many licks, and I think it broke down his body.

So I think they need to fortify that backend with a little more toughness. Ideally, could play a little higher, top-four would be perfect.

And goaltending, we’ll see. I know Rosie is feeling good about Ilya Samsonov and Matt Murray, but, the numbers he’s quoting there, that’s the season long sample. When know the sample size lately it’s not as good for those two, and you have to wonder as I wrote last week, are they turning back into pumpkins?

So, I’m not saying Dubas has to act yet on the goaltending, but a month from now if they are still cracks there in the armor, you maybe have to start thinking about taking a big swing as someone like, I don’t know, Juuse Saros. Someone the team could control for another couple years. Very reasonable AAV. A definite, clear number one. We’re not there yet, but I think it’s fair to panic a month from now if the goaltending isn’t sort of back on track.”

** NHLRumors.com transcription