Insider: Where Maple Leafs Stand On 3 Top Available D-Men On Trade Market

Yes, the Toronto Maple Leafs are all-in on improving their defense, but where do they stand on some of the top available names on the trade market?

Insider Elliotte Friedman broke it down on his 32 Thoughts podcast, discussing one likely, one 'maybe', and one unlikely candidate. And while noting that the Buds missed out on one of their top two targets, Nikita Zadorov, another Flames defenseman is still firmly on their radar. 

Chris Tanev 

Despite a coinciding report that the Flames are still actually considering trying to extend Tanev, the Leafs continue in their pursuit of the 14-year shot-blocker supreme, and according to Friedman, "there is definitely a feeling around the league that Toronto is confident it can sign Tanev (to an extension, if they were to trade for him)." 

Given that he's Toronto-born, and it was Leafs GM Brad Treliving who signed him to his current 4-year contract in Calgary that's about to expire, that all makes sense. 

Sean Walker

Currently having a very strong season for the Philadelphia Flyers, Walker is garnering plenty of interest around the league, if Philly decides to trade him (which isn't a certainty, according to a recent report). But are the Leafs one of those suitors? Friedman isn't so sure:

"I heard that (while) Walker is a good name around the league, but I was just told that he wasn't on Toronto's top list of targets." At least, not yet. 

Tyson Barrie

Leaf fans are probably laughing at this one; everyone remembers what a "chamber of horrors" it was for Barrie, as Friedman put it, the last time he was with the Leafs, in 2019-20. This one is likely not a fit, not only because of the history, but also because Toronto is looking for someone who plays a more physical game. Nevertheless, Barrie was just made available by the Nashville Predators, and his name will be out there. 

There are obviously plenty of other names swirling around, and Friedman notes that the Leafs would prefer getting their hands on players with term on their contracts, or that they can re-sign, but if it comes down to giving up a middle-to-late-round draft pick to bring people in, even on expiring deals, they'll have to do it. 

 Photo: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports