Being in as big a hockey market as the Toronto Maple Leafs are, there are always going to be big rumours flying.
The team needs to fix their defence, specifically on the right side, and thus the team has been linked to possible acquisitions such as Alex Pietrangelo and Dougie Hamilton.
But I think there’s a possibly cheaper option for the Leafs to improve their blueline, and one who is familiar with the team and the city. Some fans may have guessed correctly, I am indeed talking about current Tampa Bay Lightning defender Luke Schenn.
For one thing, since the team has expensive forwards, like Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner and William Nylander, they will need cost effective players in order to stay at or under the salary cap. Schenn’s last couple of contracts have been for only $800,000 with the Anaheim Ducks and $700,000 with the Lightning. With his current contract expiring, he could be an affordable piece for the Leafs’ puzzle.
He also fits what the Leafs appear to be looking for, as he’s right handed and is a physical style defender. Locker room wise, he brings the valuable experience of having won a Stanley Cup this season with the Lightning.
At just 30 years-old too, Schenn has a lot of hockey left in him, and he could keep up well with this current group.
From a public relations standpoint, it would be neat to see a former Leafs draft pick, returning to try to help the team, win a Stanley Cup.
Now, just a note as I write this, the Leafs could very well make a trade during the NHL draft, to help fix the team’s current defence, this is after The Standard’s press deadline. Just like in the pandemic, things can change quickly in the NHL. But regardless, I think Schenn would be a valuable addition to the current Leafs roster.
One last thing, I just want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving!