NHL Rumors: Flyers and Maple Leafs Emerging as Trade Partners

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers are two teams with very different strategies heading into the trade deadline. The Flyers are known sellers who are willing to listen on just about anyone, meanwhile the Maple Leafs are in the market for at least one defenseman and if possible, another forward. As we approach the deadline in two weeks, keep an eye on these two teams as a trade could materialize depending on a few variables.

The Maple Leafs are reportedly interested in defenseman Justin Braun and forward Travis Konecny. One is a pending free-agent defenseman who is making $1.8 million against the cap with 100 games of Stanley Cup playoff experience under his belt, meanwhile Konecny is signed through the 2024-25 season and has been linked to the Maple Leafs in the past. So far in 53 games this season the 24-year-old forward has scored nine goals and recorded 32 points. Certainly not his best season offensively and he's been in and out of the coach's dog house. 

Braun would give the Leafs another right-handed shot defenseman, something they could benefit from tremendously as they continue to find the perfect balance. The veteran blueliner loves to block shots and is a great penalty killer, something Toronto could benefit from as he would be an upgrade on the likes of Justin Holl and Travis Dermott.

The Leafs may need to unload some salary if they want to land Konecny as injured defenseman Jake Muzzin is still a question mark to appear again this regular season. If Muzzin is going to stay on the LTIR until the postseason then the chances of a deal certainly goes way up. If Muzzin is coming back before the playoffs then someone like Braun is much more likely for Toronto as appose to including a player like Konecny who has some term left on his deal.

With Philadelphia having the likes of Braun and Konecny, along with Claude Giroux, Rasmus Ristolainen and Martin Jones their lineup will look much different post deadline. Meanwhile the Maple Leafs are staying focused on adding to their defense core and are open to creative 'hockey deals'. It's certainly easier to be creative with almost $6 million in cap space so keep an eye on the Muzzin injury situation as it will directly impact what kind of move Toronto can pull off.

Photo credit:  Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports