The Toronto Maple Leafs face a tough decision to make as they edge towards the April 3 trade deadline. They clearly have a chance to make the playoffs, but they’re not regarded as a serious Stanley Cup contender either.
So, unless something fundamentally changes over the coming weeks, should they see themselves as a buyer or seller? Listening to Leafs GM Dave Nonis, it sounds like the answer is neither.
“Right now, I don’t feel compelled to move anyone by April 3,” Nonis said in a Toronto Sun report. “And I would have to say, at least at this time, I don’t expect anything to happen (extension-wise) by that date either, although things can change.”
That includes forwards Clarke MacArthur and Tyler Bozak, who are both threats to leave the team over the summer as unrestricted free agents.
“I’ve never had a problem with a player who was going to be a UFA staying with the team after the trade deadline and then working something out at a later date,” Nonis said. Keep that in mind next season, which will be Phil Kessel and captain Dion Phaneuf’s last under their current contracts.
Nonis did leave the door open to acquiring a rental player, although that seems unlikely because the trade would have to make sense in both the “short and long term.”
To further diminish that possibility, Nonis pointed out that if he was interested in rental players, he might as well just keep guys like Bozak and MacArthur.
Leafs fans shouldn’t hold their breath for the team to make a major move in the coming weeks, unless of course their position in the standings changes dramatically.