Leafs Could Look To Add Another Defenseman; Could Columbus Be Suitor?

As NHL training camps draw near, the Toronto Maple Leafs find themselves in a challenging salary cap position, with a deficit of over $2.9 million.

To fortify their defensive lineup, the Leafs have reportedly set their sights on acquiring a defenseman, with Andrew Peeke of the Columbus Blue Jackets emerging as a potential target.

Peeke, an intriguing blueliner with a fairly manageable $2,750,000 salary cap hit, could address Toronto's defensive needs.

One plausible trade scenario being discussed involves the Maple Leafs sending defenseman TJ Brodie and likely some other future assets to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Peeke.

Brodie carries a $5,000,000 salary cap hit, which, if included in the deal, might still leave the Leafs slightly over the cap.

However, the intricacies of salary cap management are in the capable hands of Toronto's salary cap expert, Brandon Pridham.

Whether this trade materializes will depend on negotiations between the teams and their assessment of how Peeke's addition could bolster the Maple Leafs' defensive core for the upcoming NHL season.

Peeke, known for his role as a stay-at-home defenseman, scored just six goals and 13 points across 80 games, with an atrocious -41 plus/minus rating last season with Columbus.

Over his four-year career, the 25-year-old has scored nine goals and 34 total points across 195 games played, along with a -58 plus/minus rating.

Peeke is a former second-round draft pick (34th overall) by the Blue Jackets in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. Photo Credit: Jason Mowry-USA TODAY Sports