Maple Leafs Rumors: Team Showing Interest In Blues' Forward

The Toronto Maple Leafs are in the market for a top-six forward who can ideally play with John Tavares and William Nylander on the second line. The goal this season more than anything is do enough at the trade deadline to give the team every chance to finally get out of the first round of the playoffs. It appears as though the Maple Leafs are bound to match up against the Tampa Bay Lightning, so they can make judgements off of that.

The Maple Leafs have reached out to the St. Louis Blues about Ivan Barbashev as he is likely on the move, per David Pagnotta. The Blues have clearly made up their mind that they are selling at the trade deadline this season as they already went ahead and dealt Vladimir Tarasenko and Niko Mikkola to the New York Rangers.

Barbashev broke out last season but along with the rest of the Blues, has not had the greatest of seasons offensively. He has shown the ability to produce and score goals. The Blues' winger is versatile and can play center or the wing. He plays a physical game well suited for the playoffs and has a nice and cheap cap hit of $2.25 million. Though he will become a UFA at the end of the season, he could also be an option for the Maple Leafs to re-sign if he fits in well and doesn't come at too high of a cost.

It will cost the Maple Leafs less than a first round pick to acquire Barbashev, even with the ideal cap hit, and leave room for another move or two to fully address their trade deadline needs.

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