When Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Nikita Zaitsev was placed on the injured reserve this past weekend, fans and analysts speculated aloud whether it would force the team to make a rushed trade for help on the blue line. Don’t count on it warns TSN’s Darren Dreger.
Dreger was on TSN radio Monday morning where he urged Leafs fans to temper their expectations if they’re anticipating a trade to help shore up the team’s defence.
I don’t get the sense that [Maple Leafs GM] Lou Lamoriello is calling 28 general managers like his partner [Senators GM] Pierre Dorion in Ottawa trying to find something. But the word is out there that if something surfaces on the market, Toronto would have considerable interest.
The Leafs have been connected to Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Ian Cole and Vancouver Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson in multiple trade rumors, but ultimately the team elected to simply call up Martin Marincin from the AHL’s Toronto Marlies ahead of yesterday’s trade freeze.
Until Zaitsev returns, expect Connor Carrick to play a regular role on the Leafs’ blue line. The youngster has earned the audition and any potential trade that takes away his opportunity likely wouldn’t be well received in the Leafs dressing room.
What’s your take? Do the Leafs need another depth defenseman? Obviously a top pairing guy would solve all of these issues, but those come with a hefty price tag. What’s the best solution? Stay the course?