BY GAVIN MCGLENISTER – FAN FUEL BLOGGER
There have been a lot of rumours about the Toronto Maple Leafs trading to get some big assets, these are the top five players I think they should target; Nino Niederreiter, Roberto Luongo, Alexander Ovechkin, Jonathan Bernier and Evander Kane.
1. Nino Niederreiter
New York Islander left winger Nino Niederreiter has wanted off the New York Islanders and he would be a perfect fit on Toronto Maple Leafs. My thought is that he would improve their roster and add to their youth movement.
The reason I think the Leafs should target Niederreiter is because they need a second or third line winger with centre Tyler Bozak and winger Nikolai Kulemin or centre Nazem Kadri and winger Matt Frattin. I feel they could acquire him straight up for Jake Gardiner, with the Toronto Maple Leafs having such good depth at the defence position this deal wouldn’t hurt our back-end.
2. Roberto Luongo
There’s been tons of rumours of Roberto Luongo going to the Toronto Maple Leafs. I think the Buds could possibly trade struggling star Phil Kessel, and there might be some picks or cash involved as well. In Luongo, the Leafs would be getting a starting goaltender who would help them get into the playoffs and help change the direction of this franchise.
Alexander Ovechkin loves his role as the captain in Washington, but a change may be the best thing for him and the team. So I think the Washington Capitals will trade him for the right price. I believe that the Leafs could get Ovie straight up for Kessel. This deal would save Washington in cap space and Ovechkin would instantly become the face of the franchise.
The reason I think the Maple Leafs should target Ovie is because Toronto really doesn’t have an all-star player.
4. Jonathan Bernier
The 24-year-old Bernier is stuck behind starter Jonathon Quick after Quick backstopped the Los Angeles Kings to the team’s first Stanley Cup last season. I think Bernier would be a good fit for the Leafs because he would have an opportunity to be the starter. I think the price tag on Jonathan Bernier would at least be Nazem Kadri and Cody Franson.
5. Evander Kane
Finally, I think the Leafs should target young Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane as he would be a top line winger with James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak. Kane is an asset on the powerplay with superstar potential and right now he doesn’t seem to be a good fit with the Jets.
In order to get Evander Kane the Toronto Maple Leafs would have to be willing to part with Phil Kessel and possibly other players, such as Matt Frattin.
More NHL: Ask the Insiders – Are Leafs shopping Kessel and Phaneuf?