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Trade Rumors: Five targets on the Maple Leafs’ radar

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Trade rumors continue to swirl as the deadline approaches.

And if there’s a team that needs to make a move just to stay in the hunt for the playoffs, the Toronto Maple Leafs is one of them.

Here’s five players, according to the National Post, who the Leafs may be looking at. Here’s a list, a ranking, rather, from reverse order of who I’d like to see the Leafs land.

5. Jeff Carter, Columbus Blue Jackets (10 years; $5.27 million a year)

It’s no bargain, but if Carter, who turned a page from his days in Philadelphia when traded during the off-season, may be destined to be on a team with potential, yet again.

The good news is, however, Carter hasn’t been able to produce much (10 goals, 7 assists) in 30 games, and that may be leverage for the Leafs to grab him for someone of lower value and a draft pick or two. According to the Post, it may cost as much as Nazem Kadri, however, who has a lot of promise to develop into something great in the near future.

4. Ryan Malone, Tampa Bay Lightning (3 years; $4.5 million a year)

He’s a top six forward, his contract is just about right, and he’s having a pretty good and healthy year from the looks of it. (With the exception of the lower-body kink at the beginning of the new year).

The Leafs may have to give up some defence, or even be squeezed into committing to one goalie between James Reimer and Jonas Gustavsson. The Lightning after all could use some younger legs between the pipes.

It’s possible to grab Malone, but the Lightning aren’t by any means ready to scrap this team, and getting Malone may diminish one aspect of the Leafs’ overall game.

3. James van Riemsdky, Philadelphia Flyers (6 years; $4.25 million a year)

A big contract, but a big man at 6 foot, 3 inches. A week ago, the thought of van Riemsdky throwing on a Leafs sweater would had been an exciting one for the majority of Leafs Nation. The concussion may be the reason why TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweeted that talks between the Leafs and Flyers are very quiet. Although, the Leafs are a pretty discrete franchise. So, if there’s transparency of van Riemsdky’s concussion between negotiations, if there is any, that may play a factor.

Much like the Lightning, the Flyers are in need of back-end reassurance. The loss of Chris Pronger is still a void in the blue line, and the Leafs has talent they may be able to part with.

2. Bobby Ryan or Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks (3 years; $5.1 million a year/1 year; $5.35 million)

Two possibilities here, pointed out by the Post, obviously. The wings can shop for the winger in Ryan or roll out some depth with another centre in Getzlaf.

Ryan and GM Brian Burke have a past together, but Getzlaf has the nice contract (one year remaining).

Either way, they’re both having pretty rough years — as the Ducks are in general — so maybe it’s a change of scenery that needs to take into affect.

It’ll probably cost Toronto a first-round pick, if they want to go through with that is unclear. Getzlaf may be the safer bet, but Ryan is quite desirable. The only thing that will keep one of these rumors alive is that Anaheim is probably looking for a solution, and moving one of these two for some younger talent and a draft pick or two may be their route.

1. Paul Stastny, Colorado Avalanche (2 years; $6.6 million)

It’s hard to believe the Colorado Avalanche will sell off Paul Stastny, but then again, look at his contract — and his numbers. He has 12 goals and 13 assists in 44 games.

He proved to be a brilliant set-up man in the 2009-10 season. I like Stastny in Colorado, a lot, and I like watching him with Matt Duchene. But I’d like to see who he works well with in Toronto. Would we see him with Phil Kessell or Joffrey Lupul? Perhaps Joey Crabb?

Whoever it is, I hope Stastny brings the bang-bang dance to the Air Canada Centre.

Matthew Wilson is editor of Center Ice Chat. Follow him on Twitter @Mattjw24. Be sure to also Like us on Facebook and to Follow our Tumblr page.

Matt Wilson
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