Could the biggest factor in the Toronto Maple Leafs be their prospects being ready for the big time this season? It could be if what Mike Augello of HockeyBuzz.com is suggesting is correct.
Augello suggests that Jerry D’Amigo and Josh Leivo, two prospects that have had time with the Leafs this season and had success, could allow the Leafs to trade a couple of their wingers.
Those wingers are Nikolai Kulemin and Mason Raymond. Augello points out that both Kulemin and Raymond are unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. It is unlikely that the Maple Leafs will be able re-sign both of them since Raymond will be definitely be due a raise after the season he has had.
Kulemin has played pretty well on the Leafs second line as of yet. However, that just might make him a more attractive trade target.
Augello also notes that Peter Holland will more than likely be sent down to the Toronto Marlies once Dave Bolland comes back from injured reserve. However, he also says that he could come back if Bolland does not re-sign with the Leafs.
Three young players. Three veterans. The Leafs will not be able to keep all their veterans. While Bolland is the most likely veteran to be brought back, there is no guarantees at this year’s trade deadline.
Leivo is obviously the most offensively gifted of the three youngsters. D’Amigo has the chance to be a very effective third or fourth liner for the Leafs. If given the chance, Holland could be a good second line center for the Leafs.
Will the Leafs make another trade this season? Who knows, but it will definitely be worth looking into these possibilities.