Anthony Petrielli and Ian Tulloch react to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ acquisition of Nick Foligno (and Stefan Noesen) in exchange for a first-round pick and two fourth-round picks on the eve of the NHL trade deadline.
The boys dive into:
- Initial thoughts on the Nick Foligno add and where he fits in the Leafs‘ lineup
- Who comes out of the Leafs‘ forward group?
- Was the price that Kyle Dubas paid too much?
- Are there any other moves left for the Leafs to make before 3 p.m. Monday?
Anthony Petrielli on Nick Foligno’s fit
I think he is a really good fit and I get why they wanted him. I think it makes complete sense what they are doing here. He is versatile. He can play all around the lineup — the left or right side, any special teams unit they want him to, they can use him to close out games. These are very minimal but extremely high-leverage situations, but he is a way better fit to close out games than Alex Kerfoot, who they use regularly. Somehow, last night, Wayne Simmonds and Alex Barabanov were on with under three minutes left.
Situationally, I think he provides them a ton of value. In the lineup, he provides them a ton of versatility with how they are going to use him. No matter what, they were going to have to push Taylor Hall onto one of the top two lines. I don’t think you have to do that with Foligno. I do think that is something they valued. They can sit there and say, “We can push Zach Hyman to the third line, and we are going to really like our depth 1-9, or we are going to keep Hyman wherever we want. Unlike with Taylor Hall, we aren’t going to have this debate about whether he should be pushing him down.”
Foligno will just kind of fit on whatever line and in whatever situation they want him to. Over the years, I don’t know if the Leafs have lacked talent in their playoff matchups compared to who they were playing against — even peak Boston, I thought the Leafs were pretty close talent-wise because they had so many good players. What they really lacked, to be honest, was matching up and any sort of lineup versatility. They had no options, basically. They didn’t really have anything they could move around or play with.
This year, I look at their roster, and it is full of options which they can use to create new lines. We just saw, when William Nylander gets hurt, that we didn’t really love their line combinations coming out of that.