Report: Dreger expects Leafs to swing for the fences in deal with Blue Jackets

There was one insane idea thrown out there, the Leafs could easily get in the way of that.

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One of the most preposterous trade propositions of the year was made by a Los Angeles Kings reporter earlier this week. He suggested that the Edmonton Oilers make a pitch to acquire the services of impending unrestricted free agent Jack Johnson of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

What was preposterous about this wasn't the fact that it would be a non-playoff team acquiring an expensive expiring contract, rather, it was the suggestion that ensued the trade offer.

The idea was to trade for Johnson, turn him into a winger, and slot him next to Connor McDavid and see if his skill set would work there, and give the Oilers' best player a legitimate player to play with.


The odds of that happening are less than zero, but with Peter Chiarelli managing things... who knows.


Darren Dreger was recently on TSN Radio 1050 in Toronto and had some thoughts on what Lou Lamoriello should be doing right now, as he build the Toronto Maple Leafs into a legitimate playoff team this spring.

"I'd be shocked if Lou Lamoriello hasn't called the Columbus Blue Jackets about Jack Johnson," Dreger said. "We know that there's some upheaval there. Johnson doesn't feel like he's a good fit with the Blue Jackets any longer and he's asked for a trade - he's publicly talked about that.

"Now, is he a good fit for the Toronto Maple Leafs? You don't really know until you see that player in the lineup. I don't know for certain that there's been dialogue between Lamoriello and Jarmo Kekalainen but as I said, based on speculation, I'd be surprised if Lou didn't at least call.

"But if that doesn't pan out, then you look at who might be the next available defenceman and so on and so forth. And that's where it gets tricky because depth guys - and I mean depth - like seven/eight defencemen, they're relatively easy to grab a hold of via trade or even waivers. But that's not what Toronto needs. Toronto has that developing with the American Hockey League, we just talked about (Connor) Carrick and (Travis Dermott)."

What Dreger says here all makes sense, and we would be shocked too if Lamoriello hasn't at least made a call or two to Kekalainen inquiring about Johnson's price tag.

He's the kind of player they need, and while he could end up being a rental, if things go well, he could very well agree to a contract extension in Toronto. He may not be Doughty, Karlsson, or Ekman-Larsson, but he's a legitimate top 4 defenseman that fits the profile of what they are looking for on the blue line.

He certainly won't cost as much as the aforementioned superstars.

What would you offer for Johnson if you were GM?