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Treliving: Leafs will be 'as creative as possible' before deadline

Steve Russell / Toronto Star / Getty

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving knows he has his work cut out for him before the March 8 trade deadline, but he's ready to put on his thinking cap.

After reacquiring defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin from the Anaheim Ducks in a three-way trade Thursday night, the GM said Friday that his club will be "as creative as possible" in addressing other needs, according to The Athletic's Jonas Siegel.

Treliving acknowledged that could include trading his most valuable draft commodities.

"I think (you've got to) be careful with first-round picks for short-term help," he said. "But if it makes sense at the end of the day when you do the final analysis ... you have to look at every option."

The Maple Leafs gave the Ducks a 2025 third-rounder and sent the Carolina Hurricanes a sixth-round selection in this year's draft in the Lyubushkin swap. Toronto also acquired the rights to KHL forward Kirill Slepets from the Canes in the deal.

Toronto reportedly tried to trade for Chris Tanev before the Calgary Flames sent him to the Dallas Stars on Wednesday.

The Maple Leafs are projected to have around $1.45 million in deadline cap space, according to CapFriendly. That figure would increase slightly if and when Toronto puts Mark Giordano and his $800,000 cap hit on long-term injured reserve. Treliving said Friday the defenseman sustained a concussion Thursday night and will be placed on IR.

It was reported Thursday night that Toronto also expressed interest in veteran blue-liner Matt Dumba. Both Lyubushkin and Dumba are right-shot rearguards, and the Leafs have been icing a fully left-handed defense corps of late.

The Leafs have a first-round pick in June's draft, but no second-rounders for the next three years. They traded away their 2025 first-round pick in the deal that netted them defenseman Jake McCabe from the Chicago Blackhawks last February. Toronto doesn't own a pick until the fifth round next year.

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