NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs Looking to Fill Specific Need Via Trade

The Toronto Maple Leafs are a fragile team at the moment, even with a 35-15-4 record on the season. The team is dealing with some key injuries, some shaky goaltending and some slumping forwards who can't find the back of the net. General manager Kyle Dubas isn't going to panic before the March 21 trade deadline, but he is going to try and upgrade his roster any way possible. The Maple Leafs have made it known to other teams they are interested in upgrading their blue line and prefer non-rentals.

The team has been linked to several key names on the trade market including John Klingberg of the Dallas Stars, Jakob Chychrun of the Arizona Coyotes, Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson of the Anaheim Ducks, Damon Severson of the New Jersey Devils and Justin Braun of the Philadelphia Flyers. 

Last season Dubas and company shipped out a collection of draft picks for 'rentals' and to say it didn't work would be a huge understatement. The team sent a first-round pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Nick Foligno, which resulted in 11 total games and zero goals. This time around don't expect to see the Leafs move picks, but they are willing to trade some of their prospects as the team's window to win is now. 

For the Leafs, there's some expectation one of Timothy Liljegren, Travis Dermott or Justin Holl gets moved, even with the concussion issues of Jake Muzzin. The team has seen too much inconsistency from the defense core so you can't blame them for looking for alternatives at this point. Besides Morgan Rielly and TJ Brodie, it's been a down season for many of the Maple Leafs blueliners. Youngster Rasmus Sandin is starting to come around and Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe moved him up to play with Rielly last game on their top-pair. Toronto ended up getting pumped 5-1 to the Buffalo Sabres and Keefe had this to say after the game:

As for the next trade from Toronto, expect it to be for a defenseman with term on their contract and look for some big-name prospects to be heading out of town. 

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