Since the NHL All-Star game has passed the NHL now focuses on the trade deadline and who will be buyers, sellers. One of the teams that could be busy is the Toronto Maple Leafs, with low cap space they will have to get creative.
Toronto could add some pieces at the deadline and there are three potential deadline additions for them to think about. Toronto would help themselves for further playoff advancement by adding depth to an already offensive team.
Here are the three potential trade deadline acquisitions for the Maple Leafs:
Goaltender Braden Holtby is a former Stanley Cup champion and former All-Star who could be a free agent after the 2021-22 season. A veteran, Holtby has not played like he is at the end of his career, playing both starter and backup. This season, for the Dallas Stars, he has played 23 games, compiling a record of 9-10-1, .912 save %, and a GAA of 2.78. Holtby has outstanding rebound control and positioning, while still posing a threat to post a shutout nightly. Could be a get for Toronto to give starter Jack Campbell a night off.
Defenseman Robert Hagg is a big, physical blueliner that the Maple Leafs could use as muscle in the playoffs. The 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds Hagg is a defensive defenseman who enjoys punishing the opposition. He plays a heavy, defensive game and relies on instincts to close gaps, block shots, be a force in front of the net, and toss the gloves at his choosing. Hagg could be a free agent after this season but will be a cheap, but needed, option for the Maple Leafs. In 35 games with the Buffalo Sabres this season he has 1 goal and 5 assists for 6 points.
Anaheim Ducks forward Rickard Rakell could be an option for secondary scoring. Rakell, a solid two-way player, could fit nicely on the second line for offensive production due to his consistent numbers since entering the league. Rakell has always been a + in the +/- department, except this season, showing his two-way play. This season he has 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points in 38 games.
With the Maple Leafs up against the cap, they will have to get creative in any deal. Toronto could be busy if the right deal comes along. The playoffs are not far away and they could use some insurance as playoff seeding becomes more important.