Maple Leafs attempting to acquire 2 defensemen at once.
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Maple Leafs attempting to acquire 2 defensemen at once.

NHL insider reveals that a certain team is targeting 2 young defensemen, and it appears to be the Leafs.

Jonathan Larivee

The Toronto Maple Leafs may be looking to make some drastic alterations to their blue line.

One National Hockey League insider has been linking the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Philadelphia Flyers as potential trade partners for some time now, and with this much smoke you have to believe that there may be a fire somewhere. It all started this week when NHL insider Elliotte Friedman revealed that the Maple Leafs had checked in on a Flyers defenseman.

From Friedman:

I do think Toronto has taken a look at Philadelphia’s Rasmus Ristolainen, who has three seasons remaining on a five-year, $25.5-million contract. But, I don’t believe the Flyers are eager to give him away, and there’s no rush for them to do anything while their group is playing well.

Ristolainen is certainly a risky proposition for the Maple Leafs given questions about his level of play historically as well as the remaining term on his current deal. There are however other defensemen on the Flyers blue line that would not pose such problems for Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving.

Although he did not directly link this to the Maple Leafs, on Saturday night Friedman revealed that at least one NHL team had asked about acquiring 2 defensemen from the Flyers at once.

"There was a lot of talk over the last week about Philadelphia defenseman... and I do think there was at least one team that asked about the pair of Sean Walker and Nick Seeler and would the Flyers be willing to deal them together," revealed Friedman on Saturday night.

Walker is in the final year of a 4 year deal that carries an average annual value and cap hit of $2.65 million per season while Seeler is in the final year of a 2 year deal with an AAV and cap hit of $775,000 per season. This would make them a much more affordable option for the Maple Leafs, even as a pair, than Ristolainen himself. Whether or not the Flyers are open to such a deal remains to be seen.

Although Friedman believes the Flyers are in no rush given their successful season thus far, a decision will have to be made at some point given that the Flyers are still very much in a rebuild.