The Toronto Maple Leafs are having themselves a terrific season inside of Canada's North Division and to many it looks like a time in which the Leafs will have a unique opportunity to make a deep playoff run. There has never been, and there perhaps will never be again, a more direct path to the Final Four of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, a playoff format that will obviously see drastic changes this season due to the restrictions imposed by the covid pandemic.
With that in mind there is a strong belief that the Maple Leafs, and more specifically general manager Kyle Dubas, will look to improve their roster prior to heading into the playoffs and now one very big name has come up in the rumor mill. In a recent report for the Toronto Sun, controversial columnist Steve Simmons revealed that the name of Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno has been bandied about as of late.
Here is where it gets dicey. The Leafs have next to no salary cap room. In order to acquire anyone — the name Nick Foligno keeps popping up — they would have to move other assets and money, certainly Alex Kerfoot for example, maybe one of the young defencemen Rasmus Sandin or Timothy Liljegren, maybe the young sniper Nick Robertson, maybe an early-round draft pick.
Now it may not make a ton of sense if the Blue Jackets are looking to compete for a playoff spot, but after a tough stretch of play the Blue Jackets find themselves on the outside looking in and they could indeed end up as sellers ahead of the trade deadline. The addition of Foligno would also fit with the type of additions the Leafs have seemed to focus on as of late. Kyle Dubas added players like Joe Thornton, Jason Spezza, Zach Bogosian, T.J. Brodie and Wayne Simmonds and they all fit the same mold of veteran players who are known for their hard nosed work ethic. Foligno certainly would fit right in with that group and funnily enough serve to continue making this Leafs team look like much more of a Mike Babcock style team than when Mike Babcock was behind the bench.
If the Blue Jackets continue to struggle down the stretch, keep your eyes peeled for this one.