10 games into the NHL season, the Toronto Maple Leafs (4-4-2) are in need of a shake-up but if making a big trade seems like a reasonable option, the problem lies in the lack of viable targets who would objectively improve the team.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: I want to go back to that Patrick Kane thing for a second. You mentioned the fact that Patrick Kane is 34-- well, he's actually 33 years old--
ARUN SRINIVASAN: Going on 34 [INAUDIBLE].
JULIAN MCKENZIE: --in the last year of that contract here. I understand. Aged winger. Like, early 30s. Probably going to decline in play. But, like, this is a guy coming off a 92-point season.
This is a guy who had 66 points in 56 games the year prior. This is a guy who has shown, at least at his best, that he can actually perform in the playoffs. And if there's one thing that the Leafs have shown-- they have good players-- they haven't had a lot of guys who could perform in the playoffs.
If you're going to make a move for a guy like Pat-- if you're going to involve, like, Patrick Kane, I still-- I mean, Chicago would like to probably offload him, but, like--
SAM CHANG: If you're going to go for--
JULIAN MCKENZIE: --I don't know.
SAM CHANG: If you're going to go for Patrick Kane in the last year of his contract, 92 points [? smaller, ?] why don't you just-- can I offer you a lightly used JT Miller on the wing? Like, JT Miller on the wing has been fantastic.
He costs less. He costs less.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: He does cost less.
SAM CHANG: The contract is signed, and he had 99 points. It's 7 more points.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: He did.
SAM CHANG: And, I'd say, plays a much more physical playoff-style game than Patty Kane.
ARUN SRINIVASAN: Yeah, [INAUDIBLE] Pat Kane, so--
JULIAN MCKENZIE: But also Patty Kane has won rings too, right?
ARUN SRINIVASAN: He's [INAUDIBLE], though he's allergic to playing defense. Like-- so if that's the issue here-- like, I'm sorry. Mitch Marner had played awful last night against the Ducks-- Sunday night for, I guess, the viewers. But-- so I guess it is sort of silly to bring up the fact that he's a significantly better defensive player than Patrick Kane given his recent form.
But he is, so--
SAM CHANG: Oh yeah. If you want a defensive player, you don't want JT Miller.
ARUN SRINIVASAN: Yeah. You don't want JT Miller. You don't want Patrick Kane. Like, I don't know who's available, necessarily, that makes sense. Like, the only names that have made sense is Matthew Tkachuk, who just got traded, Mikko Rantanen, who, again, I think the Avs would just hang up the phone immediately.
It's, like, who are the comparable players for Mitch Marner in a trade? I don't know. You know, maybe it's a lack of creative thinking on my end, but if you guys have suggestions, I'm all for it. I'm just trying to rack my brain. I just don't see the-- see the window there.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: If we give you suggestions, are you going to pass those on to Kyle Dubas?
ARUN SRINIVASAN: Yo. Maybe.
You know, why not? Why not?
AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: Via spreadsheet?
ARUN SRINIVASAN: Are they taking fan mail at this time? Yeah. I mean, like--
SAM CHANG: Would you consider trading for a goaltender?
ARUN SRINIVASAN: Um--
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Oh!
ARUN SRINIVASAN: That's the fun, little variable, right? Because goaltending is so unpredictable. Like, unless you're Vasilevskiy, no one knows if you're any good or not year to year. I guess I would. But that also sort of, like-- it's an interesting sort of, like, variable fixed because, on one hand, it probably actually papers over the Leafs', like, anemic goaltending.
On the other hand, if this goalie doesn't hit, we're back to square one. We're right where we started. And, I don't know, I think I would in theory, but it just depends on who the goaltender is and you knowing that that's going to add the most amount of-- you're adding to your risk level, like, going for a [INAUDIBLE].
SAM CHANG: Thatcher Demko.
ARUN SRINIVASAN: Yeah.
SAM CHANG: Like, that's not realistic, but--
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Why are you trying to give away all the Canucks players?
AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: All the Canucks!
ARUN SRINIVASAN: Like, if Thatcher Demko--
SAM CHANG: Why not?
ARUN SRINIVASAN: Yeah. I think the fan base would be excited for it. I think, like, it'd be a nice sell from Dubas and Shanahan, a nice, easy win. He-- Thatcher Demko, even if he's playing poorly, is an immediate upgrade over any Leafs goaltenders by far and yet it adds an element of risk into an already risky year, so I think that is sort of the tradeoff there.