As teams across the NHL are still figuring out if they’re buyers or sellers — and to what degree — it seems like the Canadian teams at least are fairly established as to what they’ll be classified as this trade season.
Whether or not the buyers of the group will chase rentals or something bigger, however, remains to be seen. And, heck, there may be buyers in this group that just don’t find the right fit for the right price, and so rather than force anything, they just end up sitting this deadline out.
So, a little less than two weeks out from the deadline now, we’re having a look at each of the seven Canadian teams and figuring out where they land on the buyer’s scale. We’re using a scale from 0-5 to rate how motivated a buyer each Canadian team should be at this deadline — 5 for “OMG they’ve got to do something” down to 0 for “not even on the radar to buy, though they could sell.”
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS: 5
They’ve already made the one trade they absolutely had to with Jack Campbell (and Kyle Clifford) coming in, but they can’t be done.
In Monday’s Rumour Roundup we touched on the Leafs and their wait-and-see approach. Yes, they need to bring in another defenceman or two, but whether or not they have the cap space to take a huge swing at a top-four blueliner — perhaps even one who is under contract beyond this season — entirely depends on the health of Morgan Rielly and Cody Ceci. Both are out for an extended period, which opens room through LTI, but the Leafs still need their available cap space in case either player returns before the end of the regular season.