It seems very much like the Toronto Maple Leafs are at the very least giving serious consideration to the possibility of trading veteran goaltender Frederik Andersen in the offseason, but if the latest from former National Hockey League player Aaron Ward is to be believed the chances of that trade happening may not be all that realistic.
On Saturday Ward was a guest on SiriusXM NHL and it was there that he discussed the latest on the rumblings that have linked Andersen to the Carolina Hurricanes. The rumors date as far back as early September when NHL insider Elliotte Friedman revealed that the Hurricanes had some interest in the Leafs netminder but Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas may have put a stop to that interest very quickly. Ward revealed that Dubas wanted Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton, and also added that this had been a "non starter" for the Hurricanes.
"Leafs wanted Dougie Hamilton, and that was a non-starter," said the former NHLer.
Although I don't believe there is any chance the Hurricanes would have bit on this offer, I can see why Dubas felt that there was some sense in asking for Hamilton in this deal. Although his talent on the ice is undeniable, Hamilton has had himself a very bizzare career trajectory so far for what many consider to be an elite level defenseman in the NHL. The Bruins decided that they were better off moving him in a trade to the Calgary Flames who then in turn decided to move on from Hamilton by trading him to his current team the Carolina Hurricanes. The fact that Hamilton doesn't quite fit in has often been cited as an additional motivation for these moves, so why not take a gamble if your Dubas? Hamilton is also an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season, so perhaps for that reason alone the Hurricanes would have be more receptive to the possibility of such a trade.
All that being said I feel that most hockey fans and pundits would view this trade offer as heavily lopsided in favor of the Maple Leafs, and for that reason it comes as no surprise that the Hurricanes turned it down. If the Leafs are trying to get a defenseman of Hamilton's calibur in exchange for Andersen, I don't think they are likely to find a suitor unless they improve on their offer.