The Toronto Maple Leafs mean business, and they have not only shown it by winning their first game 7-2 over the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday's opener, but also by being quite active on the trade market.
Yesterday, the Leafs acquired netminder Calvin Pickard from the Vegas Golden Knights, and according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston, the club is not done yet.
"The Pickard trade hints at more to come," writes Johnston. "While it’s believed the Leafs were only willing to complete the transaction after the 25-year-old cleared waivers – giving them the ability to send him directly to the AHL Marlies – he doesn’t look like a candidate to stay in the minors for long."
The insider is not only suggesting that Pickard might supplant Curtis McElhinney as Toronto’s backup goalie, but also that more moves are expected from the Leafs, who have one goal in mind, to make it to the Stanley Cup.
“The right people always end up on the team,” coach Mike Babcock said at the start of training camp. “Sometimes they don’t end up on the team right away.”
The Leafs benefit from great depth all around, with Kasperi Kapanen and Nikita Soshnikov among those currently in the AHL and Josh Leivo sitting out as the 14th forward at the NHL level. Veteran Roman Polak is skating as a practice player with the Leafs in hopes of landing a deal. Depth indeed.
Yes, we better keep an eye on this...