According to a few Toronto Maple Leafs trade rumors, the team is in the hunt for a top-end forward. The price for a top-six guy this early in the season is likely to be steep, which is why Jake Gardiner and Morgan Rielly have seen their names pop up on the rumor mill lately.
This most recent revelation comes from Darren Dreger.
Dreger “there is no doubt, Toronto is looking to add another forward. Nonis is being patient. He’ll trade Gardiner, Rielly or anybody”
— Hope_Smoke (@Hope_Smoke) October 23, 2013
While no one could blame Toronto for looking to add a forward, isn’t dealing away the future of the blue line at least mildly counter-intuitive? The Leafs swinging a promising young player like Gardiner or Rielly for an established NHL veteran is reminiscent of a move that the Washington Capitals made last season.
Looking for offensive help and in need of a top-six forward for the playoff push, they mortgaged the future and traded Filip Forsberg for Martin Erat. There’s no denying that Erat is a good player and that he’s been solid for the Capitals when given the opportunity, but Forsberg is going to mature into a rock star center for the Nashville Predators.
Meanwhile, Washington is stuck with an aging and unhappy asset.
Why would the Leafs open themselves up to this sort of backlash? Their start to the season has been outstanding to be sure, but it’s not worth throwing caution to the wind over at this point. They have good, young pieces in place and as they grow, so will the season-end point totals in Toronto.