Reports out of this weekend in the National Hockey League were that Toronto Maple Leafs winger Josh Leivo had requested a trade. While his agent would not confirm the report, he did not deny it, and when asked about it after practice, Leivo did not deny it either.
He does not want to play in the AHL, and he rightfully feels he deserves to play in the NHL. But with the Leafs' depth on the wings, there's just no place for him with the current setup.
Enter the Edmonton Oilers.
The Oilers are lacking speed and skill on the wing. That is very well-documented. While Josh Leivo isn't the number one answer to this team's woes, he could certainly provide some punch to a team that lacks it dearly.
He's only played 53 games across 5 seasons, but he has 21 points in that span, all the while not getting the opportunity to create chemistry and consistency with his teammates.
He has speed and skill, and has the potential to be a 20-goal scorer with the proper development, and most importantly, with an actual chance to prove himself.
Editor in Leaf author Mike Stephens opines that the Oilers will certainly be one of the top teams chasing his services.
"Considering their winger group is downright pitiful, Edmonton will undoubtedly be bandied about as Leivo’s most likely destination.
"According to CapFriendly, the Oilers currently boast some $8 million in cap space, with (forwards) Mark Letestu, Patrick Maroon, and Mike Cammalleri due to become free agents at season’s end. Adding a potential 20-goal scorer for less than a million dollars would absolutely be a logical move."
The price would likely be a mid-round pick, which is the best Lou Lamoriello can hope for, and a pretty low price to pay for a player with good potential.
The Vegas Golden Knights could foreseeably be another great option, as they have many contracts coming off the books at season's end and need to replenish the cupboards. A "reject" like Leivo would fit extremely well with a team full of them, one that's proven to be successful when you give these types of players the opportunity to show what they've got.