Report: Leafs “in play” for Landeskog, Duchene?

Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY SPORTS

As we get closer to the trade deadline, you’re going to see a lot more trade speculation hit the airwaves and social media waves. Today, we got a taste of that, when the Toronto Maple Leafs were linked to the potential upcoming firesale of the Colorado Avalanche.

The report comes from Adrian Dater of the Bleacher Report. Dater has been a constant voice in the Avalanche scene for many years, though his reputation on stories like this is up and down. He’s had his scoops, but in recent years, hasn’t been first to the party on a real blockbuster.

Getting one of Gabriel Landeskog or Matt Duchene would be fun, as far as acquisitions go. Duchene is lightning quick and can play both Centre and Left Wing, while Landeskog adds a mean streak to any top six while still putting up 55-60 points. Both are considered to be leaders, though on a free-falling Colorado roster, it’s hard to know how much stock is worth putting into that either.

With that said, if Colorado is moving away from mid-20’s core pieces, you have to imagine that the cost won’t be cheap. Both players are young enough to still be useful to the next wave of a rebuild (think a heightened scale of Nazem Kadri and James Van Riemsdyk), so they won’t be gotten rid of solely for the sake of tanking. That doesn’t seem to be a situation that this Leafs management group would feel the need to interject themselves into too aggressively; paying an asset premium for players with term attached to them seems counter-intuitive to the process as it stands right now.

If I had any guess as to what to make of this rumour, I’d almost assuredly consider it posturing. There’s been a lot of speculation that has tied Colorado to the Montreal Canadiens, particularly on the Duchene front, so it’s entirely possible that a team source is routeing this through the content stream to force Michel Bergevin’s hand and make him more antsy to make a decision. Toronto is the biggest media market in Montreal’s division and the Leafs are a team that still has a chance to leapfrog them in the standings, so I’d look beyond this sentence and into the paragraphs that are already connected elsewhere.

Though, again, I won’t say no to a cheap Duchene or Landeskog. I just can’t see Toronto getting them. Unless…

Eh. Still not getting hopes up.

  • STAN

    I’m not convinced either one of them is much of an upgrade over what the Leafs already have and already know.

    After all the hype and impressive initial seasons, both of these guys have fallen back to earth and have been pretty ordinary, even underachievers. Does that mean they’ll excel with a new team? Not necessarily.

    But if the Leafs’ brass is looking at either one, I hope it’s Landeskog.

    He’s bigger, grittier and isn’t much less productive offensively than Duchene. LW Landeskog has averaged 55 points and 23 goals per 82 games in his 400 games played. Duchene has played 544 games, averaging 26 goals and 62 points per 82 games played.

    The Leafs already have what Duchene would bring (speed and good hands), while Landeskog is almost as productive, but has the size and strength to offset the Leafs smallish speedsters (Marner and Nylander).

    Just a reminder that Kadri is also 26, van Riemsdyk 27 (28 on May 4) and both have put up similar numbers: Kadri 22 goals and 52 points per 82, JvR 25 goals and 52 points per 82. Even Bozak, at age 30, is a 20 goal/51 points guy per 82 over his 488 games played.

    The question is, what would head to Colorado in return?

    • Brent Wisken

      I just don’t see what we have to give Colorado in return. Both teams want young defensemen, and as such we don’t seem like great trade partners. People are already talking about trading JVR for a younger d-man (which makes sense to me for the right player), pointing out JVR’s age. Yet, Duchene is only one year younger than JVR. If the Leafs entertain the idea of trading Nylander for Duchene, i’m going to lose my mind (only thinking about this because of the absurd suggestions being pushed during the last month by mainstream media). Nylander is 6 years younger and already has slightly better points-per-game this year than Duchene has. As for Landeskog, he makes more sense than Duchene, but i would still rather us trade our assets to build up our defence, which is a much more critical strategic position than left-wing.

    • ScottWC

      I could see the Leafs trading for Landeskog. He’s a Babcock-type of player. It would cost 4 pieces (according to Bob Mckenzie) since I doubt they’d include anyone on the roster.

      Probably a combination of their 2017 1st rounder, Kapanen, Nielsen, and Bracco.

      They wouldn’t do this without moving JVR first. I’ve heard that Anaheim might be looking to move Sami Vatanen (not a Carlyle player), whose a cheaper version of Shattenkirk.

      I could also see a JVR and Carrick for Vatanen and a Jacob Larsson trade happening. Larsson is a better prospect than either Dermot or Nielsen and is closer to the NHL. Larsson fits the Babcock mould and could replace Gardiner when his contract expires if he continues to progress.

      I don’t think Anaheim is too worried about the expansion draft since they fully believe they’re Stanley Cup contenders this year.

      • Kanuunankuula

        I don’t really see a fit for Vatanen here. He’s essentially what we have already, good at offense, iffy on defense. I’d rather have Manson, who’s going to be cheaper too.

  • Brent Wisken

    Does trading JVR along with a couple of pieces such as Marlies/CHL players for Landeskog make sense from Colorado’s perspective? I could be wrong, but it doesn’t appear so. Landeskog seems like a younger version of JVR if looking at year-over-year stats, with the latter moving out of his prime years, and our Marlies’ prospects are very good but not superb / top notch. Regardless, I would rather us trade our assets to build up our defence, which needs a lot of work, rather than the left wing position.