Maple Leafs being linked to huge trade with New Jersey or Anaheim

The Toronto Maple Leafs are working the phones and getting more prepared for the NHL Draft and the start of free-agency. While the team has interest in Alex Pietrangelo of the St Louis Blues, they have also been linked lately to two teams. The Anaheim Ducks and the New Jersey Devils. 

Damon Severson of the Devils and Josh Manson of the Ducks are on their target list and it sounds more and more like either Travis Dermott or their newly acquired first-round pick will be heading the other way in the deal. 

It's not likely the Ducks give up Manson without getting a first-round pick back as the team is within a time of transition and looking to stockpile young assets. Some would argue Manson is exactly that so why bother getting rid of him. 

The Devils, on the other had, think they are a couple years away from looking something like Colorado and someone like Travis Dermott could fit into their young core perfectly. The Maple Leafs love Dermott but sometimes one of your friends has to go for the team to actually position themselves better. 

With rookie Rasmus Sandin and the KHL's best defenseman, Mikko Lehtonen going to battle it out for the 3rd-pair left-spot behind Morgan Reilly and Jake Muzzin, moving Dermott now makes a ton of sense. 

A Dermott deal where the Leafs get back a pick and a prospect instead of an NHL ready defenseman could be the play. Free up cap space for Alex Pietrangelo, meanwhile you're sitting with a 1st-round pick and some other assets, which you could flip once you get 'Pietro' signed. Perhaps for someone to replace Freddie Andersen long-term in Toronto. 

Leafs GM, Kyle Dubas has some big decisions and tough phone calls to make. The Maple Leafs continue to work hard with an extreme sense of urgency to upgrade their defense. 

The new formula, you ask?  Could be 'addition by subtraction'.