Ryan O’Reilly Traded To Toronto
Ryan O’Reilly is on the move! The Maple Leafs have acquired the former Conn Smythe winner from the St. Louis Blues. Toronto gets some critical help down the middle. Elliotte Friedman had all of the details of what was moving from both sides.
O’Reilly is a big time add for the Leafs. Him and John Tavares could easily switch between second and third line duties down the middle. Noel Acciari could also play both on the wing and at center on the fourth line. The Wild were a middleman in the deal as they retained an additional 25% on O’Reilly’s expiring deal in addition to the 50% the Blues took. That should make sense considering Toronto parted ways with four different draft picks. Kyle Dubas paid a very high price to bring a proven playoff performer into their locker room.
Is It Enough?
Even at an advanced age, Ryan O’Reilly is still a great two-way player. After Bo Horvat got shipped to the New York Islanders, the former Buffalo Sabre became arguably the most sought-after center on the trade market. We know the Leafs can score. Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander are game-changers. Tavares is losing a step but still talented with the puck on his stick. Morgan Rielly is an elite puck-moving defenseman. O’Reilly should fit in fine here.
But is he enough to bring Toronto to the promised land? I don’t think so. The cream rises to the top and Boston is still far and away the cream of the crop. Anyone with a brain will take them in a seven game series against everyone bar a healthy Avalanche team. Obviously, getting Jake Muzzin back off the IR will really help. So will finding a true answer in net. The fact of the matter is Toronto is right in the middle of the pack. A very violent pack. Carolina wants to make noise. So does Jersey. So does Tampa.
The Maple Leafs are better today than they were yesterday. There’s no doubt about that. Kyle Dubas added even more firepower to an already impressive forward core. You can talk about extending him some other time. Same with worrying about picks. For now, Toronto is in the mix. You can’t deny it. The Toronto Maples Leafs just added a Stanley Cup champion and Conn Smythe winner to their locker room.