February 26, 2018 | 5:35pm ET
MAPLE LEAFS TRIED TO ACQUIRE McDONAGH
Ryan McDonagh, defenceman
The Toronto Maple Leafs had expressed significant interest in veteran defenceman Ryan McDonagh, but fell short, as the New York Rangers dealt him in a blockbuster deal to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello confirmed, in an interview on TSN, that he was in pursuit of McDonagh, but would not comment further as to what was discussed or offered.
The Leafs, according to multiple sources, were willing to part with forward Josh Leivo and defenceman Connor Carrick in package deals to upgrade their current roster, but it’s unknown if they were specifically part of talks with the Rangers for McDonagh.
Lamoriello was, it would appear, willing to include his first-round draft pick in a deal for McDonagh.
With McDonagh off the board, it’s possible the Leafs revisit the trade market for a top-pair defenceman in the off-season, something they are clearly interested in adding to their roster. The NHL Draft Lottery could have implications on some players, including Arizona Coyotes blueliner Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who could become more available in the off-season if the Coyotes have the opportunity to draft first-overall.
The Leafs expressed interest in Tyson Barrie last off-season and could also shift back to the Colorado Avalanche in June or July and see if a move can be made.