Trade Rumor: Maple Leafs to Make Blockbuster Offseason Trade

The Toronto Maple Leafs have some big decisions to make this offseason when it comes to the future of their roster. General manager Kyle Dubas has mentioned not to expect any of his big-named forwards to get moved, but one name that has come up is defenseman Morgan Rielly

The Leafs have a ton of depth on defense, especially on the left-side, and with Rielly needing a contract extension after next season, some close to the Leafs think they trade Rielly for a power forward. The veteran defenseman did not perform well in the postseason and the Leafs have a huge need to find someone to play with William Nylander and John Tavares on the second line. 

Meanwhile the team has Jake Muzzin and TJ Brodie signed long-term and have youngster Rasmus Sandin who is looking for more minutes next season, including on the power play in Rielly's spot. With these three, along with Justin Holl, Travis Dermott, Timothy Liljegren and the potential return of Zach Bogosian, the Leafs have depth options without Rielly. The veteran d-man does hold no-trade protection of 10-teams and has some control when it comes to his future.

As for what the Maple Leafs would be after with moving Rielly, it would be an established power forward who can bring a killer instinct and some offensive punch to the team's second-line. If the Maple Leafs could clone Brady Tkachuk from the Ottawa Senators, a player with his makeup would be exactly what they're after. 

Hockey insider Chris Johnston feels a Maple Leafs blockbuster is inevitable. On the Steve Dangle Podcast recently, Johnston mentioned he feels there will be one new player on the roster that will have everyone talking opening night. If talent is coming in, talent has to go out, as the Leafs don't have the cap space to sign what they need. Expect a trade and expect it to be a blockbuster with Morgan Rielly likely headed out of town.

Photo credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports




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