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Would Josh Anderson Be a Excellent Addition?


Should you have been to invite any Toronto Maple Leafs’ fan what they would like probably the most, in fact, the solution can be for the Maple Leafs to win a Stanley Cup. To have a possibility to do this, they’d must no less than win a playoff around, one thing they’ve now not finished since 2004.

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Should you have been to then ballot those self same fanatics and ask them what they believe is maximum missing at the Maple Leafs, there would most probably be a lot of other solutions. The ones solutions would come with higher goaltending and a more potent protection.  Every other will be the skill to play extra of a playoff logo of hockey. That bodily, in-your-face form of recreation turns into extra prevalent within the postseason.

The Maple Leafs Don’t Lack Physicality, However Do They Have Sufficient?

We aren’t satisfied the Maple Leafs lacked physicality of their seven-game loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning this season. They registered a complete of 213 hits within the collection, a median of 30 in step with recreation. Auston Matthews led the crew with 32 hits, adopted by way of Ilya Lyubushkin with 28, and Jake Muzzin with 25. Six different gamers averaged no less than two hits in step with recreation.

Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photograph by way of Claus Andersen/Getty Photographs)

We do recognize even though, that in terms of physicality, a crew can by no means have an excessive amount of. That acknowledgment comes with a caveat even though. Any participant you usher in with physicality additionally has with the intention to play hockey, and play it smartly sufficient with the intention to play important mins in opposition to the opposition’s peak gamers.

This is the place Josh Anderson may step in. Anderson may be capable to taking part in a top-six function, offering that physicality, and contributing offensively.

The Canadiens Are Taking note of Industry Requires Anderson

Blaine Potvin of The Hockey Writers just lately wrote that the Montreal Canadiens would have the benefit of an Anderson commerce.  Within the article, he wrote that the Canadiens seem to be headed for a rebuild and that Anderson, on the age of 28, would possibly now not be capable to taking part in the kind of recreation he does now by the point the Canadiens are aggressive once more. On peak of that, regardless of being in rebuild mode, the Canadiens are nonetheless tight to the cap and want to filter out cap area. Anderson nonetheless has 5 seasons closing on a seven-year $5.5 million deal he signed with Montreal in October of 2020.  

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That brings us to invite two questions: (a) Would Anderson can be a excellent have compatibility with the Maple Leafs? and (b) May they squeeze him underneath the cap?

Josh Anderson Montreal Canadiens
Josh Anderson, Montreal Canadiens (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

There’s no query that Anderson brings a ton of physicality with him. He’s indexed at 6-foot-4 and pointers the scales at about 225 kilos. He’s registered over 1,000 hits in 430 common season and playoff video games. He too can ranking. In his closing six seasons, he has scored no less than 17 objectives in step with season, except for the 2019-20 season the place he simplest performed 26 video games because of a major shoulder damage. Within the 2018-19 season, Anderson scored 27 objectives for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Would possibly Josh Anderson Turn into The Maple Leafs’ Tom Wilson?

Shall we see Anderson turning into the Maple Leafs’ model of the Washington Capitals’ Tom Wilson. Preferably, he may slide proper in along Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, making that line a punishing line in conjunction with the entirety else they may be able to do. Every other asset Anderson has is that, for a large guy, he can skate. 

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We will be able to’t see Anderson having a subject maintaining. Each Matthews and Marner upped their bodily play this season. Anderson can be a ambitious addition to that line. Bringing in Anderson would permit Sheldon Keefe to drop Michael Bunting right down to play along John Tavares and William Nylander, giving that line the tenacious checker and hard-working ahead it’s been missing.  

At the problem is the contract Anderson brings with him and the reality he’ll be 33 years outdated by the point it’s finished.  First, the Maple Leafs must give you the chance to suit Anderson’s $5.5 million underneath the cap this coming season. They might do this by way of dealing each Alex Kerfoot and Justin Holl, which might transparent precisely $5.5 million from their payroll. We will be able to’t see Montreal being desirous about both of the ones gamers. They’d must be dealt in a separate transaction in other places. 

Alex Kerfoot Toronto Maple Leafs
Alex Kerfoot, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Then there’s the query of the way lengthy Anderson can be efficient? With the kind of recreation he performs, he would possibly simplest have two or 3 seasons the place he can on the identical degree he does now. Anderson additionally has a complete no-trade clause which may make it tricky to commerce him if his play does go to pot. 

What Would It Take to Get Anderson to the Maple Leafs’ Roster?

The closing a part of this deal, and a very powerful section so far as the Canadiens are involved, is what would it not value the Maple Leafs to procure Anderson? With Montreal being in rebuild mode, shall we see the deal having to incorporate excellent younger gamers, draft choices, and/or possibilities. Shall we see their ask together with one of the crucial Maple Leafs’ gifted younger defensemen in Timothy Liljegren or Rasmus Sandin. Shall we additionally see them in need of a first-round pick out, in conjunction with a Matthews Knies, Nick Robertson, or Topi Niemela.

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There would unquestionably be some large execs and cons to this deal. Up to Brendan Shanahan talks about in need of to be a Stanley Cup contender for a number of seasons, there comes a time whilst you will have to choose from the longer term and the prevailing. The Maple Leafs are temporarily operating out of the “Now,” and their window of alternative to win with this core may well be sliding close. 

When it comes to Anderson, would he convey the Maple Leafs nearer to being a contender? Would the positives of obtaining him outweigh the negatives?

[Note: I want to thank long-time Maple Leafs’ fan Stan Smith for collaborating with me on this post. Stan’s Facebook profile can be found here.]





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