The hot topic of the day surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs is the recently reported trade request by forward Josh Leivo. With only 12 games played out of the team's 54, as much as he loves being a Toronto Maple Leaf, his love for actually playing hockey surpasses that.
He wants to play, and if that means on a different team, that's a sacrifice he's willing to make. If Lou Lamoriello can find a suitor, anyways.
But what if they let him accomplish his ultimate dream and make him a regular on the lineup?
On the surface, he looks like someone who should be a regular. 21 points in 53 games is perfectly respectable. Especially for someone who hasn't been afforded the chance to build consistency and chemistry with linemates. He had 10 points in 13 games last season, and 5 goals in 12 games the season before.
Play him with skill guys, and he will produce.
His trade value is next to nothing at this point, which just isn't good business for Lamoriello.
So what if we play him, and trade someone else?
Twitter user and Leafs writer @draglikepull had a hot take that could actually make a lot of sense for Toronto.
They both have limited NHL experience, but Connor Brown's career 0.43 points per game pace is only marginally better than Leivo's 0.40. Brown scored 20 goals last season, which is no small feat - but with only 12 goals and 19 point sin 54 games this season, he isn't primed to hit those numbers this year. Leivo could feasibly put up similar numbers.
Obviously they bring some different skill sets to the table, but the point is, Brown's trade value would in fact be significantly better. And he's a relatively known commodity. He's a regular on the team and scouts can watch him play every game. They have a good picture of what he offers. So why not trade him, get some good assets, and use Leivo as a replacement. It likely would not be a big trade-off in production, and you get better assets in return.
The alternative is you keep Leivo on the sidelines and waste his talents and diminish his value for a potential trade.
This is a hot take, to be sure. What are your thoughts on this idea?