The Toronto Maple Leafs have limited options for upgrades on the right side of their defence, with Adam McQuaid being a rumoured potential target.
We are less than a week away from the trade deadline and it has been rather quiet on the rumour mill when it comes to the Toronto Maple Leafs, which is nothing out of the ordinary.
Nobody expected the Jake Muzzin trade and many saw that as the response to the team’s issue on the right side of the defence. After seven games, Mike Babcock decided to juggle his lineup by taking Muzzin off the top pairing with Morgan Rielly, who was reunited with Ron Hainsey.
It was an unpopular move, because the whole point of acquiring Muzzin was to push Hainsey lower down the lineup. It seemed the desire was to separate Jake Gardiner and Nikita Zaitsev, as the Leafs elected to move Travis Dermott to his offside.
Now the Leafs seem to find themselves in a similar issue; having Hainsey playing top pairing minutes isn’t an ideal situation, but Babcock doesn’t want Rielly playing away from his strong side. According to Sportsnet‘s Chris Johnston, this had nothing to do with production, but rather a comfort factor.
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This is why the Leafs are going to be connected to right-handed shot defencemen until Feb. 25. The new name being mentioned now is New York Rangers defenceman Adam McQuaid, who is expected to be moved.
TSN‘s Bob McKenzie spoke about the prospect of McQuaid being a potential option for the Leafs on Leafs Lunch, saying the team might look at him as a depth option. The price, in this case, could be similar to what the Rangers gave the Boston Bruins – a fourth and seventh round pick.
If you’re the Leafs, do you make that deal? Probably not and for a couple of reasons.
For starters, who would come out of the lineup for McQuaid? There’s no way it’s Hainsey or Zaitsev and it would be tough to justify removing Dermott.
The best option for general manager Kyle Dubas is to make Babcock choose between having Hainsey or McQuaid in the lineup because there is no way both should be there, given their inability to limit scoring chances. Sure they provide toughness, but that isn’t the issue for Toronto; they need players capable of clearing the zone efficiently and limiting chances.
So any interest in McQuaid should be limited at this point. Dubas should be looking at a more significant upgrade if it’s available, otherwise they will be better off doing nothing at this point.
What do you think about the rumour involving McQuaid? It is something for the Toronto Maple Leafs to consider, or should they look elsewhere? Let us know in the comments below.