This is my first blog here at HockeyBuzz, so let me quickly introduce myself. I love the Leafs. I also love the game of hockey. Yes, I've played, and yes, I watch, just like many of you, but I would like to write with a style that encourages debate and discussion...if that's possible.
I believe that your opinion is only good if you can defend it, and "throwing" your opinion to the wolves is a healthy exercise if you don't mind being wrong, heck, being wrong means you learned something, so being wrong is actually a good thing.
Back to my Leafs, my beloved blue and white, and no, Tampa is NOT "blue and white", even though they use the SAME blue (the Blues use a different blue)...they have not and never will, earn this title. They simply chose the wrong colors. I live in Florida so I'm allowed to say this, I have enjoyed several Lighting games in fact.
Ok. Back to the Leafs. For real. The Leafs need defense, but not just any D, they need young, controllable D that can grow with this core. This means they should be looking for 1-2 players that are 20-24 years old, and can play top 4 minutes. This isn't easy to find. I keep hearing "rumors" that have Toronto interested in players like Alzner or Shattenkirk as UFA's...um I doubt it. Too old and too much "old" term. I hear they have interest in Tanev from Vancouver, too old at 27 and too unproven to pay top price for, so no. Brodin? Not going anywhere. Dumba? Possibly, but I don't think Lou wants to trade future assets and Minnesota can't take back a contract like JVR, so probably not. Spurgeon? Not going anywhere. Vatanen? Bidding war should take him out of the Leafs willing-to-pay-price, he's good but he's not exactly what they need. Montour? Not going anywhere. Josh Manson? Now this is a player the Leafs would love, but 2 problems.
1) Ducks don't have a protection slot to take back a player like JVR.
2) Will Leafs give up future assets for a player that is probably top 4 but most likely never top 2? Doubt it. So we have a conundrum...or do we?
This brings me to my D of choice...Jacob Trouba. He's 23. He's a right shot. He plays big top 4 minutes, and seems very capable of becoming a top 2 guy. He has size and some toughness (Leafs need), he can play PP and PK, and the Jets can protect a player like JVR in a trade. The Leafs would need to pay a premium to get him, but he's actually worth the price. rnrnJVR + Leipsic or Kapanen + 2017 2nd ----> Jacob TroubarnrnFire Away. Cheers.