The Toronto Maple Leafs are always rumoured to be in on everybody, whether it’s a player, coach, or a general manager.
If the league’s best beer vendor became available, you can bet fans and media alike would be talking about their imminent arrival in Toronto, whether there was any truth to it or not.
Just so you don’t fall behind, here’s a list of some of the people recently rumoured to be coming to the Leafs, regardless of how legitimate or phony the rumours are.
The third overall pick of the 2013 NHL Draft wants out of Tampa Bay badly enough that his agent aired all the dirty laundry in public on Sunday. I'm sure it was no coincidence that this happened while the Lightning's farm team, the Syracuse Crunch, were visiting the Toronto Marlies.
Why not drop a bomb like that in the centre of the hockey universe, right? As soon as that news broke, I read dozens of fans talking about how the Leafs should be all over that.
Should the Leafs want Drouin? I mean, yeah. Who wouldn't want a player with that potential? The Leafs should want Drouin because everybody should want Drouin. When you're the Lightning and teams around the league will line up for your young star, why would you trade that young star to a team in your own division? Weren't six years of Kessel-Boston questions every time the Leafs played the Bruins enough?
Toronto just can't stop picking on Tampa, can they? If I'm Steve Yzerman, I wouldn't trade Drouin to the Leafs for anything purely out of spite.
I can't really talk because...
We've had our fun with #Stammergeddon for now. Is he going to sign with the Leafs? Unless he signs an extension with the Lightning, or a team he's traded to as a rental player, we won't know until July 1. I'm not saying you can't dream, I'm just saying that six months is a long time and I want you to enjoy your life.
Hey, guess what? Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Kerby Rychel has asked for a trade.
Hey, guess what? Several teams want him. Hey, guess what? The Leafs are reportedly one of them. Even though Rychel has little leverage in this situation, as Luke Fox writes at sportsnet.ca, the story is still out there anyway.
My favourite thing I've heard here is: "Well Rychel's dad Warren used to be a Leaf."
Warren Rychel also used to be a Blackhawk, a King, an Av, and a Duck. The Ducks are reportedly in on Rychel too and I haven't heard that angle used with them.
Remember this name. While everybody's talking about the obvious names like Drouin, Stamkos, and Rychel, you can swoop in and go, "Actually, I also heard the Leafs are in on Jimmy Vesey," and really, isn't that what the Internet is all about?
Jimmy Vesey is a Nashville Predators third-round pick from 2012 currently playing at Harvard. He scores a big bunch of goals and rumours have swirled for a long time that if Nashville can't sign him to a deal then the Leafs want to snag him in free agency.
The Leafs already drafted Jimmy's brother Nolan Vesey in the sixth round of the 2014 draft. The Leafs also hired Jim Vesey Sr., Jimmy's dad, as an amateur scout not too long ago. If you're into conspiracy theories, the writing is on the wall and this guy should just have a Leafs jersey and contract mailed to him already.
Remember how everyone was freaking out about the Connor McDavid sweepstakes? Man, that was annoying. Well onto the Auston Matthews sweepstakes!
Toronto was one lottery ball away from McDavid and the currently 27th-place Leafs look like they'll be in the lottery conversation for the first overall pick again this season.
But why stop there?
ALL THE PICKS
I'm told that the Leafs have begun preliminary talks to acquire all 211 picks at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. As it stands, the Leafs could already have as many as 11 if all conditional picks go their way. Just 200 more to go and they'll have the full set. I know that sounds "ridiculous" and "literally impossible," but why should we let that stop a fun conversation?
To keep both Steven Stamkos and Jonathan Drouin in Tampa Bay, I'm told that Steve Yzerman has volunteered to come out of retirement and suit up for the Leafs instead. Of course, he'll need somebody to play with...
I know he's "retired" and "the president," but come on. The guy's still got washboard abs. It's kind of upsetting, frankly. He should cover those abs up. With a Leafs jersey.
I think you see my point. The Leafs can be kicking tires until they break all of their toes but the odds of them getting all of these players is slim to none. One or two? Maybe. Not all.
You know what? The Leafs getting Mike Babcock and Lou Lamoriello in the same summer has dared fans to dream.
Who am I to wake anyone up from such a nice dream? Sleep well. I'll wake you up when the Leafs make another blockbuster deal.