2. Toronto Maple Leafs
Why they’re a fit: The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to be looking to upgrade defensively. They’ve been trying to for a while. However, now that their offense is looking outstanding, the next part of their rebuild is finding a franchise defenseman. Those are hard to find, though, so they’re still looking for that difference maker. Morgan Rielly is fairly close to being one (he might already be one depending on who you ask). Ryan McDonagh is one.
McDonagh can play during all situations. That’s precisely what the Leafs need. He’s also under control through next season. This works well with their salary cap situation. McDonagh’s contract is done once they have to find a way to afford the trio of Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and Mitch Marner.
This doesn’t mean re-signing him would be impossible. It just means that they’d be able to weigh their options with the trio and not have to worry about McDonagh’s deal potentially hurting their chances.
Toronto has precisely what the Rangers are looking for. And they’re desperate. That’s a pretty good combination for the Rangers.
Why they’re not: This is a bit nitpicky. But McDonagh is left-handed. The Leafs have enough lefties. What they really need is a righty. That said, beggars can’t be choosers and McDonagh’s probably a better option than any right-handed defenseman on the trade block once you look past Mike Green.
Likelihood: The Leafs are a very likely destination for McDonagh. However, the Rangers are probably going to demand either Nylander or Marner for their captain. That’s a price the Leafs might not be willing to pay.