NHL rumours: Predators' Granlund could be trade target for Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs are beginning to run away with the NHL's North Division, which is reportedly driving the team's front office to make a move to add more depth up front.
"Management would like to bolster its forward group," TSN insider Darren Dreger reported during 'Insider Trading' on Tuesday. " ... They’d like to give this group a little bit more depth and firepower, particularly in the middle of the lineup. ... As long as the Leafs continue to win, then I know (Leafs general manager Kyle) Dubas is going to try and bolster the group up front."
Dreger offered Nashville as a potential trade partner for the Maple Leafs, noting Mikael Granlund could be on the table if the Predators retained some salary. The intel follows reporting from Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman during Hockey Night in Canada on February 20 that the Preds may be willing to listen to trade offers for anyone other than Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and Pekka Rinne.
Looking to make a deep run in the playoffs this season, Toronto like most teams would benefit from adding a top-six forward or a second-pairing defenseman prior to the April 12 trade deadline. Offense has not been a problem for the Leafs as the team leads the NHL in goals this season with 81 markers. A versatile player like Granlund, who can play on the wing and at centre, would offer much needed insurance should an injury disrupt the team's high-flying offense.
The Leafs sit atop the North Division with an impressive 17-4-2 record through 23 games this season. After a pair of victories over the second place Edmonton Oilers, Toronto is eight points ahead of Edmonton with a game in hand.
The Leafs and Oilers battle for a third straight game on Wednesday.