Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, Tyson Barrie
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It is trade deadline day in the National Hockey League and all eyes in Toronto are on Kyle Dubas as he tries to navigate a possible sale on Tyson Barrie with an eye towards adding long-term help on the blue line.

The latest scuttlebutt from the insiders below.

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McKenzie: Leafs seeking Shattenkirk / Sekera type return on Barrie (TSN)
On Insider Trading, Bob McKenzie suggests the Leafs’ crushing loss to Carolina, its third blowout loss in a week, changed the deadline outlook for the team.

In a word, yes. Absolutely. I think what you could say is this: In the days and weeks leading up to the NHL trade deadline, I believe that the core players of the Toronto Maple Leafs were told by the coaching staff and management, “You guys will determine what we do at the deadline. If you play really well, we will add some pieces and give you every chance to win. If you play very poorly and things don’t go well, all bets would be off.”

You saw with the loss to Buffalo, the loss to Pittsburgh, the loss to Carolina — it is not just that they lost, it is how they lost. Embarrassing. As much of a highlight as Thursday’s game against Pittsburgh was in the shutout win, it all got erased and then some with perhaps the most embarrassing loss of Kyle Dubas’ tenure with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Leafs, after Thursday’s game, were very much in the group of teams saying, “Yeah, Zach Bogosian, we might want to add a depth defenseman.” They are now out on Bogosian. They are not going to spend good money after bad in that situation.

They were mulling over whether to trade Tyson Barrie or not. I think the chances of Tyson Barrie being traded are greatly enhanced now. They are still not going to get him away. They are going to look for a Kevin Shattenkirk-like return or an Andrej Sekera-type of return where an offensive defenseman went for a first-round pick and a prospect and then some. Whether they get it or not remains to be seen, but it is pretty clear that they are not going to be adding.

There is also no magic bullet here where they are going to snap their fingers and come out with the right-handed defenseman they have been looking for for years. It will be a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but they’re pulling the horns back a little bit.

A reminder of the Sekera and Shattenkirk deals:

  • At the 2015 trade deadline, the Los Angeles Kings acquired defenceman Andrej Sekera from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for prospect Roland McKeown and a conditional first-round draft selection (the pick was to be transferred in either the 2015 or 2016 season).
  • At the 2017 trade deadline, the Washington Capitals acquired Kevin Shattenkirk from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for forward Zach Sanford, a 2017 first-round draft selection, and a conditional future second-round draft selection.

Darren Dreger on the Leafs’ outlook for the deadline:

It is definitely a full-scale panic among the Toronto Maple Leafs. There is a shift in direction here. This is a clear recognition that there is more maturing that is required. You look at the blue line of the Toronto Maple Leafs and maybe the fix comes internally where there is responsibility — added responsibility given to Rasmus Sandin or Timothy Liljegren. You look at how things might change with the injury front that has impacted the likes of Morgan Rielly and Cody Ceci. These guys are scheduled to come back as early as mid-March. They might have to train those guys — especially Morgan Rielly — to a trainer’s table to make sure they don’t come back too soon. They definitely want to give their young blue liners more responsibility.

Seravalli: Dubas knows Barrie is a mistake that needs to be rectified (TSN)
Frank Seravalli believes Dubas is looking to make a move with Barrie but it might be a tough needle to thread with wanting long-term blue line help back in a subsequent deal.

I think the fact that Tyson Barrie is even on the trade bait board at all gives you some indication of where Kyle Dubas thinks his team is and also what Tyson Barrie’s fit is. He knows that it is a mistake that needs to be rectified. The question is, can he get it done before 3 p.m. on Monday? That’s a lot to tackle considering the way they want to go about doing this. It is so hard to find a better fit from a team that is going to be giving up off their roster for a guy in Tyson Barrie who is a rental that you are clearly not going to sign.

Pagnotta: Kapanen in play in search of long-term stability on backend (Sportsnet)
David Pagnotta reiterates Kasperi Kapanen is available if he can be packaged for a defenseman who fills a long-term need on the blue line.

They are going to be looking at bringing in a first-round pick and a high prospect that they can ultimately swap out and bring in somebody with term. We are also hearing Kasperi Kapanen’s name really popping up as a possible guy who could be packaged out for long-term stability on that backend. If they can package him up and bring in somebody who can fit long term, I think that is the priority for Toronto.

Friedman: Vancouver, Calgary, Vegas in the mix for Barrie (HNIC)
Elliotte Friedman and Chris Johnston provided the latest on the Tyson Barrie sweepstakes on the extra edition of Headlines.

Vancouver, Calgary, Vegas. This is all of interest to them. I think the big question is now, with the way the Maple Leafs performed in their last game before the deadline, does this make them say we are sellers, or we are more willing to do this? That’s one of the storylines [for deadline day].

Johnston on Calgary’s level of interest:

You mentioned them in the Barrie sweepstakes. They’d like to do a hockey deal more than just acquiring a rental.

Brian Burke on Barrie:

Which Tyson Barrie are they going to get? This reminds me of Francois Beauchemin, who was an excellent player, came to Toronto, and could not handle the big stage. Tyson Barrie has failed miserably in Toronto. You’ve got three or four weeks to get him back in form. I am not sure.

Petrielli: Today’s deadline is no time for drastic shakeup move (MLHS)
Anthony Petrielli provides a sane analysis of the current situation in Leafland after a tumultuous week.

I think I would be wary of making a huge shakeup move at this time. Trading a pending UFA is one thing, but trading anyone under contract with term at an emotional time like this during a season that has not gone as planned is how mistakes are made. It doesn’t mean it can’t happen and shouldn’t if the right deal is there to be had, but I would be very careful. They have a lot of work to do, but the vast majority of it should happen in the summer after a careful analysis and review of what happened this season.