Trade deadline is upon us and it’s fun….. unless your handle is 2 Minutes For Looking so Good, then you’re just a whiney man child that scours the internet looking for small things in trade rumour articles that might not be 100% accurate….. good thing we love you around here anyway ya sooky baby!!
According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post the Toronto Maple Leafs have asked about the availability of power forward left winger Chris Kreider. If at all possible, and the Leafs do land Kreider, I think it would be a great fit.
Rather than go deep into the stats of it all, I’ll simply say this, Kreider is basically Jake Muzzin as a forward. Solid all around but probably not world class at any one thing. Good offense, defense, brings a physical game, and has great size.
What I’m wondering now is if this is all connected, and if the Adam McQuaid rumour is tied into Kreider.
The Rangers are in a curious place when it comes to their defense, as their highest paid players aren’t exactly their best performers right now.
The biggest cap hit on the Rangers, according to capfriendly, is Kevin Shattenkirk. He hasn’t exactly lived up to his price tag since he joined the Rangers and it has seen his TOI/GP drop to under 19 minutes a game this year. His 5v5 TOI/GP is under 16 minutes, good for 6th on the team among blueliners. He plays over two and a half minutes a game with the man advantage, most on the team among blueliners, and that has resulted in the third highest point totals among defenders, which, I needn’t say, is not very good.
Marc Staal is the next highest cap hit on their blueline, and his situation doesn’t look a whole lot better. With under 20 minutes a night total, being 4th on the blueline in 5v5 TOI/GP, and having nearly 3 minutes a night short handed, he’s overpaid as well.
Lastly, Brendan Smith and Adam McQuaid combine for over 7M towards the cap.
The only defender that is living up to his contract right now is probably Brady “Now That I Make Over 5M Per Year Can I Finally Buy A Vowel” Skjei. They have other young defenders on the rise, like Neil Pionk, and a few more with names that look misspelled, which probably means that these big contracts will get in the way sooner rather than later.
While it isn’t likely that the Leafs can help them shed contracts like those of Shattenkirk and Staal, the point of all of this is to show that they may need help on the blueline.
With that in mind, and with the general consensus being that any deal Toronto makes needs to be “money in-money out” to keep next seasons cap in order, I do wonder if they would be willing to take on Nikita Zaitsev to get a better return on Kreider and McQuaid? Or is it possible that the left side of Rielly, Muzzin and Dermott is fine by the Leafs and they are willing to move Jake Gardiner in this deal? Lots to consider here.
How does all of that work? It probably doesn’t. The likelihood of a deal going down between these teams is probably small at best, but the rumours are there and that’s enough for me.
What say you Leaf Nation? Do you disagree? Is there a deal to be made here? Also, a question for you capologists out there, if the injury to Nazem Kadri appears to be a couple of months on the sidelines, can they take back more salary?
Let me know in the comments!!