It’s been a busy time to be a Leafs fan lately. We went thru the latest trade deadline without making a deal on deadline day. However the weeks leading into the deadline spoke volumes. Gone were the likes of Dion Phaneuf, Shawn Matthias, Roman Polak and James Reimer. Coming in well quite frankly more futures. More picks, more prospects and most importantly there is now more cap space.
Cap space in today’s NHL is a valued commodity. One commodity the Toronto Maple Leafs hold alot of stock in right now. I look and see a team now with too many draft picks and too much free cap space. Something has to give. I can see the picks being packaged up to move up in the draft, but I have a few other ideas of how they may be used as well.
The Leafs can make offers on restricted free agents now and if they are forced to give up draft picks to compensate the former team for the signing of their RFA. The Leafs could theoretically pay out picks for a player and still have more picks than any other team in the draft.
Cap space obviously would also allow the Leafs to be bug players in the Unrestricted Free Agent market and well. You have to look no further than Steven Stamkos to see why Leafs Nation is collectively licking their chops.
Thinking about the potential of pairing Steven Stamkps with the potential of adding #1 prospect Auston Matthews in the draft you would have a one-two punch at Centre that could rival any other team in the league. Couple that with the skilled wingers like William Nylander, Mitch Marner, Connor Brown, Nikita Sosnikhov. You have some high powered potential to your offence.
This would allow the Leafs to use Nazim Kadri and his high level skill set to roam free as a third line offensive centreman.
With Rielly and Gardiner on the blueline along with the rumoured addition of Zaitsev from the KHL the blueline is also rounding into shape.
If these moves come into fruition there is still one very massive hole that needs to be filled or the Leafs will surely be in last place again next year, that of course is the need for a bonafide #1 starting goaltender.
Who knows when that will happen OR where it come from. Stay tuned folks!
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