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Leafs Hot Streak Putting Pressure On Treliving To Make Deadline Additions

February 24, 2024, 12:01 AM ET [86 Comments]
Mike Augello
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The Toronto Maple Leafs extended their winning streak to six games with a dominant 7-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday, courtesy of five goals from secondary sources (Max Domi with 2, Pontus Holmberg, Jake McCabe, and David Kampf), and with single tallies from John Tavares and Auston Matthews (his league-leading 52nd of the season).

The Leafs solidified their hold on third place in the Atlantic, and with each victory are making GM Brad Treliving’s trade deadline strategy more difficult.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek on their “32 Thoughts” podcast indicated that when the news that Calgary blueliner Noah Hanifin was going to market and would be traded before March 8, Treliving did check in with Calgary on the pending unrestricted free agent. The issue with the 27-year-old is that it is widely known that he wants to sign with a US-based club and that means a deal to Toronto would be a pure rental and that is not what Treliving is looking for.

The talk before the All-Star break was that Toronto at most was going to look to add a depth defenseman and would only make a more costly move for a player with term or that they could sign. With the Leafs surging, Friedman believes that the pressure will now be ramped up to add. The chatter has been that Toronto is searching around the market for any and all right-handed defensemen, but that it they would prefer to not trade their first-round pick.

A deal for Chris Tanev would likely require dealing their first, but adding someone like Anaheim’s Ilya Lyubushkin or Arizona’s Matt Dumba might cost considerably less.

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