2 Trade Targets For the Toronto Maple Leafs

The Leafs may have struggled out of the gate this season, but that ship was righted quickly. Now with 20 wins in their first 30 games, they're back on track to be one of the league's top teams come season's end. However, as we know, success in the regular season has yet to translate into success in the post-season for Toronto. GM Kyle Dubas will once again do whatever he can at the trade deadline to help push his team to greater heights. Their 1st-round pick will be in play, as will prospects such as Rodion Amirov, Topi Niemela, and Nick Robertson. We've seen in years past that Dubas can land his team difference-making players through trade (just look at how well Jake Muzzin and Jack Campbell have worked out). Here are two NHLers who will be on the Leafs' radar.

Colin Miller

The Buffalo Sabres defenceman makes a little too much in salary to be brought in without salary going back the other way, but some retention from Buffalo could solve that issue. The Leafs have not been overly impressed by the play of Justin Holl this season, and for good reason; he's been their most passive blueliner for most of the year. Not contributing offensively nor defensively, Holl will likely be moved before his value drops so far as to make him unmoveable. Toronto will likely see what a pairing of Muzzin and Timothy Liljegren looks like to start with, but going into the playoffs, some more experience on their shutdown pair will only help them. Enter: Colin Miller. The 29-year old defender has 2 goals and 9 points in 28 games this season, sitting at an even 0 in the +/- column on a better-than-expected (but still not very good) Sabres team. He's a right-handed shot, can kill penalties, and most importantly plays a shutdown role while also showing up on the scorecard every now and then. A pairing of Miller and Muzzin would go a long way toward replacing what they hoped Justin Holl would bring to their defence. Miller makes $3.875 million until next summer, and if the Leafs like what they see, he could become the missing piece in their top 4 on a longer-term basis.

Claude Giroux

More salary will have to be shifted around for this to work, but it's not impossible. Giroux is coming to the end of the 8-year deal he signed with Philly in 2013, making $8.275 million per season. Obviously, Toronto can't take on the entirety of that cap hit, but the Flyers are a long way from a playoff spot and they will endeavor to give their long-time captain a shot at winning his first Stanley Cup if they're going to move him anywhere. Philly retaining half his salary makes this a lot more doable for Toronto, and if Alex Kerfoot were included in the deal along with the aforementioned 1st-round pick and perhaps a prospect, an agreement could be reached here. Giroux has 11 goals and 27 points in 31 games this season, still firmly in the realm of the elite player he's been for most of his career, and at just 33-years old he still has lots to give. He can play centre and wing, powerplay and penalty kill. Giroux has led his team to the Cup Finals before and put up 10 goals and 21 points in 23 playoff games while doing so. If the Leafs plan to break their first-round curse this year, a difference-maker of Giroux's caliber being brought in at the deadline would be a big step towards helping that cause.

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