The Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to be busy before the March 21 trade deadline. General manager Kyle Dubas is reportedly changing up his strategy this season after a disappointing end to last year where he shipped out multiple draft picks for rentals resulting in absolutely nothing. Now the Maple Leafs are open to more than just pending free agents and have some interest in taking in players with term on their contracts. The Leafs need some depth on their blue line, let’s take a look at a few defensemen who the team should target.
Scott Mayfield, RD – New York Islanders
The towering defenseman is a huge presence on the ice at 6-foot-5 and has been one of the bright spots on Long Island this season. Seeing Dubas and Lou Lamoriello make a deal would be must-see tv as Mayfield is exactly what the doctor ordered in Toronto. He loves to play a physical game and use his body to block shots as lay bone-crushing hits. The kicker here is the fact he’s signed for another season at a respectable and affordable $1.45 million and doesn’t hold any trade protection. Mayfield steps his game up come playoff time as well as he’s posted 13 points, 120 blocked shots and 118 hits in 51 playoff games. He would be a huge upgrade for the Leafs, they just may need to overpay to acquire him because of Sweet Lou’s demands.
Colin Miller, RD – Buffalo Sabres
A much more offensive weapon, Miller is a pending free agent who the Sabres are looking to move. The 29-year-old is a Sault St Marie Greyhound product and Leafs Nation knows all about Dubas’ love to his Greyhound connection. He’s salary of $3.87-million is a number Toronto could work with and they would love to add Miller’s presence on their blue line. The Sabres defenseman would give the Maple Leafs another option for their second power play and certainly would bring some more mobility to their defense group. So far in 32 games, Miller has recorded 12 points. Expect the Sabres to move him before the trade deadline.
Damon Severson, RD – New Jersey Devils
The 27-year-old has been linked to the Maple Leafs in the past and the deal could finally materialize this season. Severson is signed through next season at $4.1-million annually and would provide Toronto with a huge upgrade to their second-pair over Justin Holl. Severson does it all out there, collecting 21 points in 40 games this season and playing in all situations. He would cost the Leafs a solid prospect but it feels like Dubas is open to moving out prospects if it means they acquire players with team control and affordable cap hits. While Toronto doesn’t have a ton of money to work with, they could find room for Severson this season and beyond. Keep an eye on the Devils, trade talks are expected to be heating up and the Leafs will be one of the many teams involved.
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