Trade Rumor: Maple Leafs and Sharks Discussing Blockbuster

The Toronto Maple Leafs and San Jose Sharks have a history of transactions and according to a source close to the Leafs, the two teams could be revisiting some discussions this summer. The names to watch here are Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly and Sharks forward Evander Kane.

Maple Leafs management ended their season admitting the team needs to find some killer instinct and needs to become harder to play against. General manager Kyle Dubas is on the prowl for a left-winger who plays a heavy game after things didn't work out very well with Nick Foligno. The ex-captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets struggled to find his game in Toronto, played through some injuries and is likely heading back to re-sign in Columbus.

As for Kane, he would bring the perfect style to the Leafs second-line, alongside John Tavares and William Nylander. Last season the 29-year-old had himself a solid campaign on a bad team, scoring 49 points in 56 games and has essentially averaged roughly 30 goals per season the past three. 

The kicker here will be no-trade protection. Kane submits a list to the Sharks of 3 teams he's willing to be dealt to, but you have to think with the Maple Leafs potential, Kane would be open to the move. As for Rielly, he submits a list of 10 teams he's not willing to play for, but it's hard to imagine him turning down a chance to play hockey in California.

While the Leafs don't have a ton of cap space next season, they do have roughly $14 million to work with and some key players to re-sign such as Zach Hyman. There's going to be enough money to work with to facilitate this deal, as Kane is signed for $7 million per for the next four seasons, meanwhile Rielly makes $5 million next season and is a free-agent at season's end. The Leafs have room for the $2 million difference. 

Hockey insiders including Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, think the Leafs are going to make a huge deal this summer, and this one-for-one swap is something to look out for. The Leafs have enough defensive depth on their left-side to move Rielly, and Kane brings everything they're looking for to their hockey club.

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Photo credit:  John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

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