James Mirtle of The Athletic (subscription required) was recently asked during a mailbag segment if Colton Parayko might be an option for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The question came about because the reader assumed the St. Louis Blues might get a deal done with Alex Pietrangelo and that could potentially force the Blues to move out some salary on the back end.
Mirtle’s answer was, “Possibly.”
When asked if the Maple Leafs should be interested, Mirtle’s answer was more definitive. “Yes,” he said.
When asked if a first round pick and Travis Dermott would get it done, Mirtle was extremely matter of fact when he said, “No chance.”
How Would Parayko Work in Toronto?
Assuming the Blues do, in fact, sign Pietrangelo, Mirtle says it will be hard to imagine a scenario where the organization can afford to pay $21 million on just right-handed defensemen. With Pietrangelo, Justin Faulk, and Parayko in the mix, someone would have to go. That someone would be Parayko according to most insiders.
But, does that necessarily mean the Maple Leafs would be a logical landing spot? Well, there’s certainly a need as he’s the type of player the Leafs would love to insert into their lineup. He’s big, he can skate and he can score. He might not be as physical as one might like considering his size but he uses his long reach to defend the rush and he’s certainly strong enough to win battles down low.
I’m a big fan of Parayko, so if he’s available, the Leafs should definitely get in that mix. But the asking price won’t be cheap. And the Blues can move out some other bad money, like Tyler Bozak’s contract, in order to fit in Pietrangelo. So they aren’t going to be pressured into dumping someone as valuable as Parayko.
If the Blues do decide to move Parayko, he’ll be auctioned off to the highest bidder. That could make life difficult for the Maple Leafs. It’s easy to envision a situation where another team, perhaps the Calgary Flames, come in and knock the socks off the Blues with a return that’s too good to pass up.
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