Brad Treliving's Next Move Will Be A Game Changer For The Leafs Defense

Tyler Ball
August 29, 2023  (10:02 PM)

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been searching for stability on defense for years. For the last several seasons the only constant has been Morgan Rielly. As has also been the case for several years the Leafs are still looking to get more physical on defense.

The Leafs Defense At A Glance


Currently, the Toronto Maple Leafs defense looks like this.
Morgan Rielly T.J. Brodie
John Klingberg Jake McCabe
Timothy Liljegren Mark Giordano
Simon Benoit Connor Timmins
With this defense, the Leafs are relying on several players to step up to levels they have not played at in the past. Jake McCabe has always been a solid 5/6 defenseman in the NHL. Within the Toronto Maple Leafs, however, he may be asked to play a top-four role.
Other players such as Simon Benoit, Timothy Liljegren, and Connor Timmins have shown flashes of potential but have been very inconsistent. The rest of the depth behind Morgan Rielly and John Klingberg in T.J. Brodie and Mark Giordano cannot handle big minutes at this stage of their careers.
This creates an obvious need for a defenseman who can take on a big workload of minutes to pair with either Rielly or Klingberg.

Who Might The Leafs Turn To?


As mentioned the Leafs need a defenseman who can handle a lot of minutes. They also need a more demanding physical presence to offset the more finesse game of players like Morgan Rielly, John Klingberg, and Timothy Liljegren.
A few names that could potentially become available come trade deadline who are on expiring deals are Noah Hanifin, Chris Tanev, Nikita Zadorov, Brett Pesce, Ian Cole, Joel Edmundson, Brendan Dillon and Dylan DeMelo. All of these players have shown the ability to play big minutes in the past.
Each one of them plays a physical style of game or is physically imposing due to their sheer size. They also are all on expiring contracts. This would allow the Leafs to acquire any of them for a discount at the trade deadline.
The biggest question is if the Leafs can keep their defense afloat until one of these defensemen officially becomes available on the trade market. If the Leafs can acquire any of these players or a player similar they could be dangerous heading into the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
As Read On - NHL Trade Talk - Expect Maple Leafs' Treliving to Trade for More Blue Line Grit
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Brad Treliving's Next Move Will Be A Game Changer For The Leafs Defense

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