The Toronto Maple Leafs made a splash last week, acquiring veteran defenseman Jake Muzzin from the Los Angeles Kings to bolster their blue line ahead of the trade deadline. For weeks prior, Leafs GM Kyle Dubas was said to be working on a move that would bring a quality defenseman to Toronto and many believed Muzzin was the answer.
But not so fast...
While Muzzin has been a welcomed addition to the Leafs' lineup, it seems like Dubas is still holding talks with the Carolina Hurricanes, whom he was linked to back in November just before he managed to re-sign free agent William Nylander to a contract extension. According to Pierre LeBrun, who revealed more on the situation during Thursday's edition of Insider Trading on TSN, it seems like the Maple Leafs are still keeping an eye on the Canes and hoping to get the right deal done this time.
"One of my sources in Buffalo saw Maple Leafs assistant general manager Laurence Gilman in the press box in Buffalo for Thursday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. I don’t think he’s there to scout the Sabres, as far as I can tell. Is Gilman there because the Leafs still covet a right-handed shot defenseman, or is it because Micheal Ferland, who has been on the market, is a power forward and that’s a scenario where the Leafs could use an upgrade. This is the second time that Gilman has scouted the Hurricanes over the last couple of weeks."
Many hockey experts believe the Leafs aren't done dealing ahead of the trade deadline and the fact that Dubas has already managed to re-sign his star player Auston Matthews to a lucrative deal could mean that the focus is now shift back to the trade market and what next move needs to be done to ensure that the Maple Leafs can do all the way this spring.
The Leafs also need the addition of a gritty forward and Ferland sure fits the description. However, the price tag to pry him out of Carolina might be too steep for Toronto as many other clubs are said to be in the mix to land his services. The Hurricanes are also reportedly tempted to keep Ferland as their own rental, seeing that they might have a chance at a playoff spot this year.
You simply cannot rule anything out at this point...