TSN/ESPN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun shared insight on the Anaheim Ducks’ defensive situation — and the Toronto Maple Leafs potential interest in the Ducks glut of defenceman — when he joined Leafs Lunch on Wednesday.
Given their struggles on defence, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been linked to defecemen all season long. Of course, like the vast majority of teams in the NHL, the Leafs would love to improve their situation along the blue line, but the real question is who and what is the cost.
One team that is loaded with defencemen is the Anaheim Ducks. Their surplus on D will pose problems this summer when the expansion draft takes place, which means they will more than likely need to make a deal at some point. Whether that’s at the trade deadline or this offseason is debatable, but, either way, something is going to happen at some point before the expansion draft.
"“If the Leafs do something, it will, it should be on the backend and it will be something you will see the impact at training camp next year, not just for this run. Playoffs?! They’re going to keep their long-term view and a player like that [Montour] would certainly fit.Now as of last week I haven’t heard of the Leafs really knocking on Anaheim’s door too loudly yet, but you mention all the teams that I know will be calling Anaheim over the next three weeks. The Ducks are loaded up-and-down on D. They can’t protect them all come June, although that’s something Bob Murray can address in the offseason and doesn’t have to address it now.The Ducks have their window open, they want to win, they want another top-six forward, so you know what the price is, if not more, and it’s Montour/Theodore that I think are potentially available — one or the other — but for a high price.”– Pierre LeBrun on Leafs Lunch (February 8th, 2017)"
After recently being called up on an emergency basis, Brandon Montour is an interesting name to keep an eye on. The highly touted 22-year-old prospect is a player with a controllable contract and is an appealing option for the Maple Leafs.
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As for the Ducks core group of Cam Fowler, Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm, LeBrun believes Fowler is completely off the table and that the Ducks would like to sign him to an extension this summer. So that lead us back to Montour or Shea Theodore.
LeBrun mentioned that he doesn’t believe Anaheim is necessarily trying to deal one of these kids, but they’re seeing if someone will jump at them with an appealing offer.
As for what that appealing offer might be, here’s what LeBrun had to say on the potential price for a Theodore or Montour. Keep in mind, this is specifically from the Leafs’ perspective since host Andi Petrillo asked LeBrun to give his insight from that perspective.
"“The price varies from organization-to-organization because the Ducks would view the assets differently from team-to-team. But certainly when it comes to the Leafs their deep up front.Is JVR, plus [another asset], plus [another asset] going to get them Brandon Montour? I don’t think so. But I could be wrong, okay?I think we know the name that could get them the most, but I don’t know if they want to move him. It might be too early in the process for Toronto to make that call, maybe they wait until the offseason.”– Pierre LeBrun on Leafs Lunch (February 8th, 2016)"
Gord Miller brought up the infamous Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson trade the Oilers and Devils executed this past offseason and compared the trade conceptually, saying the Oilers had a surplus of forwards and acquiring Larsson, although Hall is the better individual player, was a deal that made sense for them. Both Miller and LeBrun agreed the Oilers would likely do the trade over again if they had to.
Perhaps the Leafs would make a similar deal in a sense where they’ll go after a defenceman who is under a team friendly deal — like Larsson was — and is a controllable asset? Montour would fit that criteria, but the cost sounds like it would be steep, which is understandable.
There are other defencemen who fit this bill as well, so please don’t assume LeBrun suggesting Montour as an option means the Leafs should zero in on him. Instead, his insight provides us with a better understanding of where the market is potentially at right now, and, by the sounds of it, it’s extremely expensive.
I mean, if James van Riemsdyk plus two assets might not get you a player like Montour, imagine what the cost to acquire a defenceman like Jacob Trouba is? Perhaps it might be best for the Leafs to wait until the offseason to address their needs along the blue line because right now the market sounds ridiculously overpriced.
What do you think about the Ducks’ defence? More specifically Brandon Montour. If your were the Toronto Maple Leafs, what would you offer to the Ducks for one of their defencemen? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.