Maple Leafs should look to Canadians to bolster defense - Sports1
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Maple Leafs should look to Canadians to bolster defense

Most recently, hockey writer Shane Seney advises Toronto Maple Leafs to look The Dallas Stars, especially their defenseman John Klimberg, worked hard to improve their defense. While we can definitely see the merits of such a deal, we don’t believe Kleinberg would be a good fit for the Maple Leafs.

Kleinberg is an attacking defender, and Toronto have been there before

Klingberg is an excellent offensive defender; however, his defense is not considered to be that strong. Perusing the Dallas media coverage, it appears that the loss of Alex Goligowski, who played with the Stars from 2010-2016, provided a strong defense that allowed Klingberg to play to his offensive advantage.

John Klingberg, Dallas Star (Jess Starr/hockey writer)

After Goligorski moved to the Arizona Coyotes in the 2016-17 season, Klingenberg began to struggle. This season the situation has become so bad that there are rumors that Klingberg demanded a trade.

As Maple Leafs fans, we have to admit that “great offense, not so great defense” sounds all too familiar. Morgan Rielly has carried the same label for years.Thankfully, Rielly has greatly improved his defense this season; nonetheless, Rielly still relies on TJ Brody Carry the load on the defense.

related: Maple Leafs didn’t get what they needed from Muzzin or Hall

then there is Tyson Barry. Barry is the same type of offensive player. There is absolutely no job at the Maple Leafs that has both Riley and Barry. Having had a great 2020-21 season, Barry’s defensive struggles have been reported as one of the reasons the Edmonton Oilers are sinking quickly in the Pacific Division.

Canadians have the kind of player the Maple Leafs need

The Maple Leafs have already gone down that path. If the Maple Leafs really want to support their defense with good all-around players who can help them take a run in the Stanley Cup this season, they need to look no further than the Montreal Canadiens.

Ben Chiarot Montreal Canadiens
Ben Chiarot, Montreal Canadiens (Jess Starr/hockey writer)

a post Sportsnet’s Eric Engels on December 3 Talking about the value of Chiarot. Engels noted that Chiarot is a “six-foot-three, 234-pound guard who’s been Montreal’s most consistent player this season.”

Engels added that Chiarot has “played more than 25 minutes and provided more evidence of why he’s one of Gorton’s best trading chips… The 30-year-old is in his prime, with minutes per game close to 23 minutes, 233 blocks, 283 hits since arriving in Montreal in 2019.”

related: Top 100 NHL Prospects – Midseason Rankings

Interestingly, Chiarot more than just a stay at home defenseman. He can also add assist scoring, scoring 15 goals and 34 points in 135 games with the Canadiens.

Chiarot History vs. Maple Leafs and Playoffs

Looking back at last season’s playoffs, Chiarot averaged 25 minutes and 15 seconds per game in the Canadiens’ 22-game stretch to the Stanley Cup Finals, 2 seconds more per game than Shea Weber. Chiarot finished the playoffs with just two points and ended at minus-6, but he relied on the vast majority of heavy defensive minutes and started 66 percent of his changes in the defensive zone.

Chiarot is a left-handed defender, but he has played on both sides throughout his career. He’ll be a huge improvement over Justin Hall, play alongside Jack Mazzi, and will give the Maple Leafs a solid physical top-four defensive pairing.

Jack Marchy Toronto Maple Leafs
Jake Muzzin, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Owen /hockey writer)

As a huge bonus, Chiarot’s salary cap is only $3.5 million in a deal that expires at the end of the season. He could be the perfect loanee for the Maple Leafs. Despite turning 31 on May, for Ufa we expect Chiarot’s next contract to be overpriced in the Maple Leafs’ reach this offseason.

Transaction costs for Chiarot

We believe Chiarot will reap substantial benefits for Ufa.We also think acting Canadian’s general manager Jeff Gorton will have Chiarot a ton of suitors. As a result, the cost of acquiring him will be high.

Seney articles on Klingberg hint deal with the star might look like this. “Maple Acquisition Klingberg, Pavelski and Holtby from the star in exchange for Hall, Engvall, Mrazek and prospects Nick Robertson.”

related: Bears sign Lasker to 1-year deal: report

For the deal to work, the Stars must keep half their salaries for the three incoming players. The only real draw for Stars general manager Jim Nill in this deal is Nick Robertson. Even so, Nill will gamble that Robertson can put his injury crisis behind him and become a top-six forward in the NHL despite his 5-foot-9, 165-pound weight.

Hall and Engvall will be seen as the bottom of the bottom pair and six players at best. Mrazek can fill the role of backup goalie, if he can stay healthy. Maple Leafs need to really reach their final deal work.

Canadian Maple Leaf pry from there what Chiarot need?

What do the Maple Leafs have to offer Gorton to pry Chiarot from the Canadians? There must be a nice “shiny toy” in there as a temptation.

This is one possible solution. The Canadians will get Ilya Mikheyev, Travis Dermott and Topi Niemelä. The Maple Leafs will get Chiarot and Mathieu Perrault. Montreal will keep the $1.5 million salary.

Topi Niemelä flies
Topi Niemelä of Maple Leafs (in fly uniform) (fly)

This trade might seem like a big price to pay, but it boils down to one question: “How the Maple Leafs are going to play badly in the Stanley Cup run this season”

See what the Maple Leafs have to give up

If we look at the players went to Montreal, Mikheyev will become UFA at the end of the season. As a UFA, he is likely to sign beyond the Maple Leafs could afford.

Dermot is entering his prime, but appears to be reaching his peak with the Maple Leafs. Timothy Liljegren is now battling him for the third pair right position and is three years younger than him.

Ni Mala is, depending on who you listen to, either Maple Leafs top prospect, is second on the list either. He is to make the deal work really shiny toy for Gorton.

See who the maple leaves will get

Besides Chiarot, why would the Maple Leafs want Perot? Even at 34, Perot could play many roles. He can play in the center of the wing or; he is a strong forechecker and he is troubled in pursuit of the puck. He signed a one-year $ 950,000 deal. He could adequately fill the Maple Leafs’ next depth role this season.

related: Maple Leaf made the right move to be with Campbell in Anderson

As a bonus, the Leafs will free up more than $3 million in salary cap space next season. The money will be used to re-sign Jack Campbell, Rasmus Sandin and Liljegren.

[Note: I want to thank long-time Maple Leafs’ fan Stan Smith for collaborating with me on this post. Stan’s Facebook profile can be found here.]
old professor

Senior Professor (Jim Parsons, Sr.) has taught for over 40 years in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. He is a Canadian boy, holds a doctorate degree and two University of Texas of the University of Kentucky. He is now retired on Vancouver Island, where he lives with his family. His hobbies include playing his hockey cards and simply being a sports fan – hockey, Toronto Raptors and CFL football (think Ricky Ray is the embodiment of how a professional athlete should behave).

If you’re wondering why he doesn’t use his real name, it’s because his son — also Jim Parsons — is hockey writer First and ask Jim Sr. to use another name so readers don’t confuse their work.

Since Jim Sr. worked in China, he adopted Mandarin to mean teacher (teacher). The first character lǎo (old) means “old” and the second character shī (teacher) means “teacher”. The literal translation of lǎoshī is “old teacher”. This became his pen name.Today, except for hockey writer, he teaches graduate research design at several Canadian universities.

He looked forward to sharing how he more fully into the life of the Toronto Maple Leafs and sports opinions. His Twitter address is

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