Mike Babcock is looking for reinforcements. With 26 days to go until the NHL’s trade deadline, the Toronto Maple Leafs coach is making no secret of the fact he’s hoping general manager Lou Lamoriello gets down to business. “You know, the bottom line is it’s our job as a team to put as much pressure as we can on Lou to help us,” Babcock said Wednesday. “The only way you do that – you don’t do it by talking – you do it by playing. Play well, and the better you play, and the more you look like you’ve got a chance, the more opportunity you have for your general manager to help you.” The timing of those comments is interesting given that Toronto is bursting at the gut with depth options. Nikita Zaitsev was activated from injured reserve ahead of Wednesday’s game against the New York Islanders, giving the team seven healthy defencemen, and Morgan Rielly isn’t believed to be too far off in his recovery from an upper-body injury. The Leafs are also carrying 14 forwards and have a 15th in Nikita Soshnikov (lower body) now participating in practices. Just as notably, the organization is already at the maximum of 50 total contracts – meaning they’d have to subtract someone before being able to add another player.
Babcock wants Maple Leafs to sway Lamoriello’s trade deadline choices
Sportsnet | Jan 31