Leafs showed interest in Horvat and three names came up for a potential trade

Published December 29, 2022 at 12:36
BY FELIP GOSSELIN
     
Everything points toward the Canucks not wanting to pay Horvat's asking price and it may push the team captain out the door when comes March 3rd, the trade deadline.

Whilst Horvat carries a fairly low $5.5M AAV, it should be expected that every team looking for a chance at the Cup will give the Canucks a call. Vancouver's management group has already stated that they're looking for a 'hockey trade'', most likely an NHL ready caliber right-handed defenseman and young centerman and at the pace Horvat is currently producing, you can probably add a high pick to that lot. Especially if the Canucks need to retain salary for the remainder of the year.

The Toronto Maple Leafs currently sit second in the Atlantic division and are considered as potential Cup contenders at this point in the season. It's no secret that they aim to add another top-6 forward to their powerful group, a rental like Horvat would most definitely make sense for them. Better yet, they have what it takes to pay the deed, here are the three assets:

1. Timothy Liljegren


The Swedish 23-year-old defenseman, right-hand shot, has developped nicely through the Leafs system and is now ready for increased responsabilities. Only thing though, the Leafs have more experienced and higher players on the pay roll, therefore making Liljegren an ideal trade chip. He has 30-career points through 98 games since he entered the NHL. It'd be a great fit in the Canucks' defensive core.

2. Topi Niemela

Niemela is a Finnish defenseman that plays a similar style to Liljegren, though he's only 20 and is definitely not making the jump to the NHL this year. He currently plays in Finland's highest level and cumulated 40 points in 79 games over the last two seasons. Even though he's not NHL ready, he would represent a great addition to the Canucks' defensive depth chart.

3. Matthew Knies

Knies is an extremely intriguing left-winger, he's a strong and big bodied forward with a 6'3'' and 209 pounds frame. He's only in his second collegiate year but he's expected to make the jump to the NHL at end of the current season. He's been playing for the University of Minnesota where he registered 55 points in 53 games since entering the NCAA's highest division. It's also been reported that the Leafs were contemplating the idea of adding him to their forward group instead of paying for someone more experience.

If the Leafs were to offer Niemela or Liljegren paired with Knies and a draft pick, would you consider moving the star centerman out East?

Horvat is a London native, there's a good chance he wouldn't be against the idea.
IS THIS A GOOD ENOUGH RETURN FOR THE TEAM'S CAPTAIN?
DECEMBER 29      1662 ANSWERS
YES, I'D PULL THE TRIGGER68541.2 %
NOTHING IS ENOUGH, SIGN HIM TO WHATEVER MONEY25515.3 %
THE RETURN IS NOT ENOUGH72243.4 %
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