Maple Leafs Untouchables: Three Big Names on Trade Table

Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman discussed the Toronto Maple Leafs’ management press conference, indicating significant team changes led by MLSE CEO Keith Pelley, with GM Brad Treliving and President Brendan Shanahan focusing on on-ice adjustments, suggesting Auston Matthews as the only untouchable player, and highlighting the potential for offseason trades involving Marner, Tavares, and Rielly as the team looks to rebuild its roster, particularly its defense and goaltending.

Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman had a chat about the Toronto Maple Leafs’ recent press conference. It was on Friday. They delved into the big points made by the team’s management and media.

Friedman threw out an interesting thought. He felt it was pretty clear that MLSE CEO Keith Pelley was running the show. Yet, he’s letting GM Brad Treliving and President Brendan Shanahan handle the on-ice decisions. Changes are coming, that’s for sure.

The duo highlighted a shift in strategy. Gone are the days of patience. They didn’t outright say the “Core Four” was on thin ice, but the praise was scarce. Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and John Tavares have had their time. Time that, frankly, hasn’t moved the needle much.

Next, the conversation turned to the untouchables. Who’s safe on the roster? Both agreed Matthews was a lock. Marek couldn’t see Nylander going anywhere, but Friedman wasn’t so sure. He mentioned that if a solid offer came from another NHL team, the Leafs might bite. This leaves Marner, Tavares, and defenseman Morgan Rielly in a precarious spot as the off-season talks heat up.

**Tavares, Marner, and Rielly Being Discussed in Trade Talks?**

Nick Kypreos dropped a bombshell. Teams are eyeing Marner. Despite his no-move clause, the interest is there. His potential $100M contract is a hurdle, but his talent is undeniable. A 100-point scorer doesn’t hit the market often. Teams are naturally curious.

Tavares, on the other hand, is a trickier proposition. He’s not looking to leave. Yet, if the Leafs decide it’s time and he’s on board, they might find a way, possibly by holding onto some of his salary. It’s a pride thing for Tavares, wanting to prove the Leafs wrong if they move on.

Rielly’s situation is fascinating. He’s the top guy on defense for the Leafs. If they’re considering a trade, it signals a major defensive overhaul. With TJ Brodie, Ilya Lyubushkin, Joel Edmundson, and Mark Giordano all up in the air, and Jake McCabe and Timothy Liljegren’s contracts winding down, Toronto’s blue line is in flux. Building around Conor Timmins and Simon Benoit isn’t the plan.

**What Kind of Trade Will the Maple Leafs Be Looking At?**

So, if the Leafs are thinking of shaking up their core, including possibly Rielly, the focus might shift to bolstering defense and goaltending. Despite Treliving and Shanahan lamenting playoff scoring woes, goalie Ilya Samsonov might not return. Treliving also hinted at ongoing injury worries with Joseph Woll. It’s clear, the Leafs are in for some interesting times ahead.

Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson is a Senior Writer for HockeyMonitor. With a background in Sports Media, Alex joined the team in 2022. He focuses on providing the latest hockey news, game scores, and fresh NHL trade rumors.

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