GM Brad Treliving discussed the addition of Ilya Lyubushkin to the Maple Leafs’ blue line and whether he is going to make additional moves before the March 8 trade deadline.

When it came down to it, why was Ilya Lyubushkin a good fit for you?

Treliving: As anyone who has followed our team (knows), our defense, especially on the right side, is something we needed to add to. Whether it be through injury or whatnot, we are short on the right side. When you look throughout the marketplace, number one is determining what is available, right? There are a lot of names that people want to bandy about, but you have to separate reality from non-reality.

When we look at Ilya, there are a few things. There is a familiarity with the team. I wasn’t here with him before, but in speaking with a few of the players and with Sheldon and the coaching staff, there is a familiarity with where he fit in his last time here. As a teammate, they spoke glowingly about how he fit in with the group.

Stylistically and profile-wise, you are looking — from my end — for someone on the right side. One of the things we need to improve on is stopping plays and killing plays. He has the ability to kill plays when we look at our data. It varies when you go from different teams to different situations, but he was a strong denier of the blue line. He has the ability to kill plays. He has some heaviness to him.

Obviously, being able to do the deal the way we did it at the number he came in at provides some flexibility. It adds to our depth. It gives us a body at a position of need and allows us to still seek other opportunities over the course of the next week.

How much did Mark Giordano’s injury speed up this process?

Treliving: It really didn’t speed up the process. I think we had done the deal before the game had started.

It’s unfortunate, but the other piece of this is that you anticipate you are not going to be healthy. Our blue line hasn’t been healthy all year. It is the nature of the beast.

When you get through the deadline, you have a few weeks until the end of the regular season. You can never have too many defensemen. You just can’t if you want to get to where you want to get to.

Do you have an update on Giordano?

Treliving: He is going to be out for some time. We either have or will be placing him on Injured Reserve. He was concussed. He is doing better today. As with any of these, he is in the protocol. We will just see how these things respond over the next few days, but he is going to miss some time.

I talked to him last night. He was in rough shape. We had a good chat today. For everybody in the building, you caught your breath a little bit. He went in hard. He was out for a little bit. He was doing better after the game.

When you compound it with what he has gone through in the last month, it has been tough, but he is doing well today. We will see him back here. You feel for him. He is a good, good man. He has gone through a lot in the last few weeks.

What is the likelihood that there will be another trade in the next week?

Treliving: We are going to try to improve our team. Every manager is going to say the same thing. We are going to try to improve our team. Whether it happens or not and whether you can find the right fits at the right cost, and you need a dance partner that likes what you have and vice versa…

We are certainly going to attempt to improve our team. We will see what the days bring.

How much are you looking at the cap calculator every day?

Treliving: Brandon (Pridham) is working on the toes now. He has run out of fingers. He is typing away there.

It is easy to say, “Klingberg’s money went away,” but you also look at it when John Klingberg went on LTI and we were running a thinner roster. You want to help your team without taking your team apart. When you do the math and say you have Klingberg’s space on LTI, it was a different roster when John was playing. We have more players up here.

We are going to try to be as creative as possible. That is today’s NHL. When you look at these deals, part of the attraction with Ilya is him coming in [below $700k] so it allows you some flexibility. We are going to try to be creative and see where we can help ourselves.

What other areas would you like to address?

Treliving: I am not going to go right through them. We continue to look at our defense. We look at our forward group. We have three goaltenders right now. I think we are going to stay at three for today, but we will see what tomorrow brings.

Wherever we can find a fit to help ourselves, we continue to look at any opportunity that becomes available. We will see.

Are you open to moving a first-round pick?

Treliving: To me, and I know there is all sorts of talk, in the right deal — with where our team is at — you want to help the team. You have to be careful with first-round picks for short-term help, but if it makes sense — at the end of the day, when you do the final analysis, if you think it is going to have an impact — you have to look at every option.

Regarding the idea that we are not going to do this or that, we look at every option if it is going to improve our team. Now, as the manager, you also have to look at not just the next six weeks. You balance it. We have tried to look at opportunities that could help our team using any and all capital we have available, but it has to make sense.

Did the seven-game winning streak change your approach to the deadline at all?

Treliving: You have to be careful of saying, “If we win tonight, we will do this, and if we lose tonight, we will…” To me, it is not just a seven-game winning streak. We have a 50+ game sample size. You are always monitoring your team and where you feel you are at.

Obviously, that streak put us in a better position, but you just have to take one look at the standings. No one is home and clear here. It certainly put us in a better position. You see different things. We made some lineup changes with our roster. It isn’t just about where you are in the standings but where different people fit. Maybe it changes what you might need.

Certainly, we are in a better position relative to our playoff position and standings position than we were two weeks ago, but I am not a big believer in, “Let’s wait and if we get four points in the next three games, we are buying everything, and if we lose four points, we are selling everything.”

I think we have a good team. I think there are areas we still need to address. Will we be able to address all of them by the deadline? No. That is just the reality. Not every team will. But is there a way that we can help ourselves between now and next Friday? That’s what we are going to try to do.

Is there a future for the Russian player, Kirill Slepets, that you picked up the rights to in the deal?

Treliving: It is fair to assume that you have to include a player in these transactions as part of the transaction. So… yeah.