The Toronto Maple Leafs find themselves in the thick of some adversity.
The team is currently cropped out of the playoff picture and GM, Kyle Dubas continues to put in a shift off the ice with Leafs management. Trade offers have been aplenty and the team is rumored to be ready and willing to add defenseman, Cody Ceci in any trade.
The 26-year-old restricted free agent to be has collected 8 points over 53 games this season. A year of transition for the Ottawa native, as playing hockey in the nation’s capital is all Ceci knew. Poor decision making and untimely mistakes have cost Ceci at times during the first half of the season and it appears to be the same story in the second half.
Maple Leafs head coach, Sheldon Keefe was asked about Ceci’s play after the Leafs crushing loss to the Panthers, Monday night:
Keefe on Ceci: "Overall he's been consistent for us." Admits he made some mistakes he'd like back last night.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) February 4, 2020
Some of Leafs Nation would agree and perhaps some would feel yes, consistent, however, consistently bad. Ceci struggled his way through 60 minutes against Florida and unfortunately, for him and his teammates, it played an integral part in the loss.
As for Leafs management, Kyle Dubas has been working the phones to all ends in search of upgrades. The focus for the Leafs these past few months has also been surrounding the backup goaltending and the defensive core for next season. Throw in continued injury troubles and the salary cap crunch and Kyle Dubas is in need of creative execution.
A deal involving Ceci and his $4.5 cap hit allows for the Leafs to include a couple sweeteners and take back a player with a healthy cap hit. A player with term is the kicker, and it’s the Leafs preference. More specifically, a right-handed defenseman with term, and Matt Dumba of the Wild and Josh Manson of the Ducks continue to be names tied to the Leafs. Two players on a long wish list.
It’s a game of when and not if for the Maple Leafs. A trade is coming. Cody Ceci will likely be included in one of the deals. Music to the ears – Leafs Nation? Hopefully, for the Maple Leafs, it turns into the soundtrack of a playoff run.