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Report: Leafs interested in Dumba, Lyubushkin

Norm Hall / National Hockey League / Getty

With Chris Tanev off the market as a defense target for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club is now setting its sights on other right-handed blue-liners.

The Leafs have shown interest in Arizona Coyotes defenseman Matt Dumba and checked in with the Anaheim Ducks about a reunion with Ilya Lyubushkin, reports The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun.

Dumba has produced nine points in 54 games with the Coyotes this season. Selected two picks after Morgan Rielly at the 2012 NHL Draft, Dumba was a 50-point defenseman during his heyday with the Minnesota Wild, capable of running a top power play and delivering a crushing hit.

But injuries have taken their toll, and the 29-year-old's play has tailed off in recent years. His underlying numbers over the past three seasons haven't been pretty.


Dumba is a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.9-million cap hit. The Coyotes' asking price for his services is reportedly a first-round pick.

The Ducks, meanwhile, have yet to fully commit to moving on from Lyubushkin, LeBrun adds, but the club sits 30th in the NHL standings, and the 29-year-old is a pending unrestricted free agent. His cap hit is $2.75 million.

Lyubushkin played 31 regular-season games with the Maple Leafs after a midseason trade from the Coyotes in 2021-22. He suited up in all seven of Toronto's postseason contests that year, too - often playing with Rielly at five-on-five.

He signed with the Buffalo Sabres the following offseason and was dealt to the Ducks last summer.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound defenseman has produced just four assists in 55 games for the Ducks this season. But the "Russian Bear" brings plenty of grit, having recorded 138 blocks and 112 hits.

Lyubushkin's defensive numbers were strong during his time in Toronto, but his overall metrics have been abysmal this year. He ranks second-last among NHL defensemen with minus-8.8 goals above replacement this season. His minus-6.6 defensive rating is the fourth-worst at his position.

Timothy Liljegren, when healthy, is the only right-handed shot among Toronto's regular defensemen. T.J. Brodie and Jake McCabe both play their off side.

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