Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas has to do something ahead of the trade deadline and the pressure is on. Since defenseman Morgan Rielly was injured and is expected to be sidelined until at least mid-March with a fractured foot , they need a skilled top-four defenseman.
In the meantime in Philadelphia, the name of Flyers blue liner Shayne Gostibehere has resurfaced in trade chatter, so much that team insider Sam Carchidi of The Philadelphia Inquirer said the Flyers might have to package the 26-year-old with a draft pick to bring in a scoring forward.
Pundits in Toronto have suggested the Leafs could be forced to peddle Kasperi Kapanen for a blue liner. TSN’s Bob McKenzie believes interested teams will want Kapanen, Andreas Johnsson, or Alex Kerfoot in return.
This could be an interested option for the Flyers, looking to part with Ghost, who has struggled defensively this season under coach Alain Vigneault. Carchidi pointed out that Philly won five of seven games with Gostisbehere out of the lineup recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. Once he returns on Jan. 31, he could be pushed on the trade block.
Gostisbehere could be attractive to clubs seeking production from the blue line, though the Maple Leafs are seeking a right-side defenseman with at least a year (preferably two or more) remaining on his contract.
The Leafs might have more interest for Minnesota Wild’s Matt Dumba, who recently surfaced in the rumour mill.
It remains to be seen what it will cost the Leafs or if they will make a move elsewhere. Perhaps Philly?