Toronto Maple Leafs Rumors: Trading Could be Costly

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Gardiner has been playing well for the Toronto Maple Leafs, which bodes well for his chances to stay with the team at the current moment. Gardiner, who has been given some time on the PP, should continue his solid play for Toronto in order to ensure that he sticks around for the rest of this season.

Toronto, in my opinion, needs to be careful about giving away young D-men, especially ones who show good offensive instincts. The only issue is that the same young players who they need to be patient in developing are the ones who would demand the most return in the open market.

GM Dave Nonis might be smart to try to ship a veteran D-Man, but it seems to me that since he has just acquired Tim Gleason, that may not be in his thought process. Paul Ranger might be a possibility, but he does not have the same reputation as Gleason on the open market, so he may not demand the same price.

In any case, anything more than a first-round pick would probably not be in the cards for the Leafs unless they parted ways with either Gardiner or Nazem Kadri as part of a package. However, the price that comes in return for these players would have to be steep for them to be moved.

The other possibility for a trade is of course James Reimer, but I do not know how wise that is right now. To me, the Leafs would need at least an established NHL starter because there is the outside chance that Jonathan Bernier might get injured or run into a dry spell.

We should remember here that Bernier only has one game of playoff experience, something that would definitely be a good enough reason to keep Reimer for the time being. Though Bernier seems poised, it is difficult to predict the pressure involved in starting for a playoff team in Canada.

The Leafs are in the market for one more scoring piece up front, and they seem to be just that far away from being a legitimate contender come playoff time (they might be able to use a physical defender as well, because Gardiner and Morgan Reilly‘s toughness has often been called into question).

For now, Nonis will continue to hear offers, primarily dealing with Gardiner (and also probably Nazem Kadri). However, with the way the team has been playing lately, he may not feel the rush to make a deal.

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