There is the expectation that the Toronto Maple Leafs will be looking to make significant changes in the offseason and one former Toronto Maple Leafs reporter claims he has the inside track on what the Leafs are currently working on.
According to a report today from former Leafs beat writer Howard Berger, sources have informed him that the Leafs and St. Louis Blues are currently engaged in trade talks. I'm classifying this one as a rumor for now because Berger's reporting has honestly been hit or miss since he left the business full time back in 2011, but his comments today were actually signal boosted by Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe so there may be something to this report from Berger.
Leafs fans have of course been salivating at the prospect of potentially acquiring St. Louis Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo either via trade or as an unrestricted free agent after October 9th, but as you would expect there are serious doubts about just how realistic of a prospect that is. I wouldn't be surprised to learn however that Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas had done his due diligence on Pietrangelo, and there's another defenseman on the Blues roster that could potentially also be in play here.
The Blues currently have significant cap space tied up on the right side of their defense with Justin Faulk currently earning $6.5 million per season and Colton Parayko earning $5.5 million per season. If the Blues do manage to re-sign Pietrangelo I can't imagine a world in which they would keep all 3 men on their payroll given the similar roles they play. Faulk's contract would likely be considerably less attractive to potential suitors, but again I would not be the least bit surprised to learn that Kyle Dubas had made inquiries about possibly acquiring a player like Colton Parayko.
Pietrangelo is of course the bigger name here but Parayko would come at a more reasonable number, although admittedly Parayko would be in need of a new contract after just 2 seasons. That being said Parayko is 3 years younger which would fit nicely with the Leafs young core of players and he's coming off another solid season with the Blues and continues to turn heads around the National Hockey League. In 64 regular season games he had 10 goals and 18 assists for a combined 28 points and a plus minus rating of +8 and he tallied 2 goals for the Blues over his 9 appearances in the Stanley Cup playoffs this year.
Stay tuned for more details.