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Leafs Busy Buyers at the Deadline

Hard to believe that since the Leafs traded away their top Centre Niklas Backstrom which should have signaled the capitulation of the season, the team instead has gone on a 16W-8L-3T tear. The end result of that sees the Leafs decide to be buyers instead of sellers for the first time in a long time. 3 trades have been made, and with the team right against the cap, it's unlikely we will see anymore moves, but the signature deal appears to be acquiring Matt Lashoff from St. Louis for the 1st they got from Philadelphia for Backstrom, a swap of 2nd's in the 2025 draft, and journeyman Cameron Gaunce. Lashoff is a legitimate top pair D man, and solidifys the top 4 heading into the playoffs.

The team also re-acquired defensive winger Troy Brouwer from Columbus for Freddie Hamilton and Danny Kristo and sent Roman Josi to Nashville for Will Weber and Alexander Khoklachev. While Lashoff undeniably is a major deadline acquisition and Brouwer, Weber and Khoklachev add some depth for a playoff run, the common thread running through these deals is that none of them are rentals. All with the exception of Weber are signed through next season. The Leafs are hopeful of making the playoffs this year, and as everyone knows anything can happen, no one better then the Leafs who several years back knocked off the #1 seed in successive years in the first round. They are however cognizant of keeping an eye firmly on rebuilding, and with 2 1st round picks this year and next and a growing group of prospects, none of them they had to give up at the deadline to improve the team, the future is not being mortgaged.

Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2019

By: Steve Jelliman

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 Steve Jelliman

 2013

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