There have been several trade rumours about the Toronto Maple Leafs seeking help on their blue line. So, it seems as if the trade winds are swirling. However, it also seems that recent news puts both the Maple Leafs and the New Jersey Devils on a collision course. Both are reportedly eyeing defenseman Nikita Zadorov.

Nikita Zadorov, Calgary Flames

That would make sense because both teams actively are seeking to fortify their blue lines. Rumours have it that the Devils have also talked about Zadorov as part of their ongoing efforts to upgrade their defensive core. Maple Leafs General Manager Brad Treliving recently highlighted the team’s commitment to exploring options.

Although the Maple Leafs are suffering from several injuries – most notably to Timothy Liljegren – that have tested their defensive depth, the team would likely be after a big, strong defensive-first blue line anyway. While Simon Benoit is playing adequate hockey, he’s not likely going to turn into THE guy for the team.

Related: Great Maple Leafs’ Partnership in Saskatoon – Minten & Lisowsky

The Devils Are Also in the Market for a Similar Defenseman

On the other side of the spectrum, New Jersey is also in the market for defensive reinforcements. They, too, are aiming to add more physical presence to their back end. Their interest in Zadorov has (similar to the Maple Leafs) led them into discussions with the Calgary Flames, for whom Zadorov currently plays.

Both teams envision the big, strong defenseman as the kind of player they want. As well, both the Devils and the Maple Leafs see the need for additional defensive strength.

As the trade talks unfold, the looming question is whether the Maple Leafs and the Devils will find themselves in a bidding war for Zadorov. Both teams see the potential of bringing the rugged defenseman onto their roster. That makes him a sought-after asset in the mid-season trade market.

The coming weeks will reveal whether these two Eastern Conference contenders will vie for Zadorov’s services to address their defensive needs and make a statement in the competitive landscape.

Related: Toronto Marlies Weekly Report: Winless In Three Games

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