Rumor: Leafs to deal with Coyotes for defenseman

OEL might be in the picture, but another is reportedly being shopped by the Coyotes, and will be a more realistic option.

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When you think about what the Toronto Maple Leafs need right now, in terms of incoming players to fill a positional need, what comes to mind?

For most, the answer will be a right-shot defenseman.

The Leafs have been linked to different players, such as Erik Gudbranson on the lower end, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson on the high end.

One name that has emerged on the shopping block is that of Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jason Demers.

A report from The Fourth Period states that GM John Chayka is actively looking to trade the right-handed defenseman by the trade deadline, and the Leafs are an obvious fit, although with some caution.

Demers has another 3 years on his deal beyond this season. His official cap hit is $4.5 million, but the Florida Panthers retained a portion of his salary, making it $3.9375 million for the remainder of his deal for any team that picks him up.

With 184 points in 549 games, Demers has exceeded expectations set upon him when he was drafted in the 7th round by the San Jose Sharks back in 2008. 

At 29-years-old, and turning 30 in the off-season, he's at that point where a defenseman slowly exits his prime, so this would be a bit of a risky deal, but perhaps one that Lou Lamoriello takes.

The cost wouldn't be too high, as the contract isn't the friendliest if he doesn't pan out.

If not Demers, Chayka is believed to have put a price tag on Ekman-Larsson, which would be a top draft pick and two roster players. That would be something to the tune of a 1st round pick, one of William Nylander or Mitch Marner, and perhaps Travis Dermott.

An expensive price to pay, but one that may be worth it. Would you pay up for either of these guys?