There has been a lot of talk, and frankly a lot of mystery, regarding just how exactly the Toronto Maple Leafs are going to navigate the upcoming offseason. This is due largely to the fact that the Maple Leafs have a lot of players on big contracts at the moment and Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas still has yet to sign Maple Leafs star forward Mitch Marner.
The concerns are legitimate ones and on Monday Maple Leafs reporter James Mirtle took a look at how things might shape out for the Maple Leafs this coming summer. One very interesting part of that analysis was when the Maple Leafs insider dropped a juicy trade rumor regarding the future of one Connor Brown. There has of course been talk already that Brown could end up being trade bait this summer, but to hear someone as plugged in to the Maple Leafs as Mirtle is say it with such confidence was a surprise.
Realistically, Toronto will probably drop at least a little salary over the summer. I think moving Connor Brown for a draft pick or a prospect is a given, especially with teams like Edmonton showing interest.
The link to Edmonton here by Mirtle is certainly very interesting given some of the rumors that have linked the Oilers to Brown in the past. Back in February Sportsnet's National Hockey League insider Elliotte Friedman made comments on his podcast that suggested the Oilers and Maple Leafs had held pretty extensive talks regarding a trade involving Brown. How heavy? Well Friedman reported at the time that his sources had informed him that 24 year old Oilers defenseman Matt Benning would have been the piece heading back the other way. When you consider the needs that the Maple Leafs have had on the blue line Benning would make some sense for the Leafs.
That trade of course would never materialize but if the Edmonton Oilers are indeed still on on Connor Brown, and Mirtle's report would suggest that they are, you have to wonder if the trade might look somewhat similar this time around. It is also worth noting here that at the time Friedman's co-host Jeff Marek suggested that 24 year old Oilers winger Jujhar Khaira could have also been a part of the deal for Brown.