Toronto Mike

Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Deadline - What Can We Expect?

Over the past few years the Toronto Maple Leafs have been one of the league's very best teams in the regular season but have struggled to make an impact during the playoffs. Despite having a top ten league record in 4 of the past 5 seasons, the Maple Leafs haven’t been able to make it past the first round once, extending the franchise's drought to 17 seasons without a single playoff series win.

Safe to say that throughout the years, betting on the Maple Leafs to win the Stanley Cup, or even a series, has been a poor and costly decision.  Even these past two years when they’ve been really good, there has been nothing to show for it at the end of the day. Whiles Leafs fans may be sick of hearing it, this could be the year where they reimburse some of those bettors and turn things around.

To say fans are getting frustrated is an understatement, and if I were a betting man, I would browse through some of the best sports betting sites and sprinkle a little money on the highest Maple Leafs Stanley Cup future odds I could find. Why is this? Well, essentially, if GM Kyle Dubas doesn’t make a big splash before this year's deadline and the Maple Leafs do anything other than win the cup, he can kiss his job goodbye. This leads me to believe a big trade will go down over the next few weeks, and any odds you find after that, will be decisively lower.

What the Leafs most need is a top-6 winger. Here's a couple players that would fit the Leafs well, along with what it may cost the team to get them.

Timo Meier should be the Leafs priority over the coming weeks. The 26 year old San Jose Sharks winger has 31 goals and 52 points in 55 games for one of the worst teams in the league. Replacing Alex Kerfoot with Meier on a line with John Tavares and Mitch Marner would immediately make them one of scariest offensive trios in the league. He would be a rental, as he’s on the final year of his contract, but this is the type of big move Kyle Dubas may have to make to show the city and the team that he’s giving them all he can to help them make a deep playoff run. Meier would be a costly acquisition with the Leafs likely having to move a high-end prospect and a 1st round pick, along with a 2nd or potentially a pair of third rounders.

Patrick Kane is also an intriguing possibility. It would be tough for the Leafs to afford him and his $10.5M salary but if the Blackhawks were willing to retain 25%+ of that money and the Leafs offloaded a guy like Alex Kerfoot ($3.5M) in the deal, they could make it work. He’s had a down year with just 35 points but playing on a horrible team like Chicago, it may be worth betting on his track record of being one of the league's premiere offensive players. The price for Kane would be lower than Meier, but still likely a first rounder, a quality prospect, and the aforementioned Kerfoot.  It is also worth noting that the NY Rangers and the Maple Leafs are the only 2 teams that Kane would be willing to waive his no-trade clause for which could offer the Leafs an upper hand in negotiations.

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