If you believe the rumours of the Toronto Maple Leafs shopping for a right-handed defenceman, be careful not to expect too much. It’s not that Kyle Dubas wouldn’t love to acquire a top pairing defenceman to play with Morgan Rielly. It’s the cost that will hold him back.
“Certainly the Leafs are looking for one. In terms of what they’re looking for, the problem is if you’re going to go after a top four — and we mentioned Pietrangelo months ago, and it’s debatable whether he’s still available but they are perhaps, the St. Louis Blues, two or three or four-game losing streaks away from making him available — they’re expensive. Extremely expensive.” Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet said.
Defencemen have always been expensive. The position is difficult to play so there are fewer players perceived as excellent players. There are many that are perceived as lacking, usually on the defensive side of the position. Just look at Jake Gardiner and the recent booing.
When a player like Alex Pietrangelo becomes available, who has a reputation as being a top tier defenceman, there’s a line up of teams trying to get him. If Pietrangelo is traded, will the final price be worth it? He has 17 points in 35 games and a Corsi For of 52.3 percent. Gardiner has 24 points in 47 games and a Corsi For of 51.3 percent. They have similar numbers, although Pietrangelo has better advanced stats, but not by that much.