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Maple Leafs Rumored To Be Interested In John-Michael Liles

The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to acquire a defenseman, reports TSN's Darren Dreger. He says that five defensemen have been targeted, but the only name he reports directly on is Colorado's John-Michael Liles.

David Driscoll-Carignan at SB Nation's Mile High Hockey says that this might indeed be the year that Liles goes at the deadline. The Avs don't have a lot of strengths, but if there's any place they are strong, it's in the offense-from-the-defense department.

Ironically, I think Liles would get a huge boost from playing with Erik Johnson, but I fear that PP union may be short-lived. The list of teams who would be interested in Liles' services at the deadline is a fairly long one, but I think he'd be a terrific fit in Nashville, where he and Shea Weber could be a devastating point combo.    

With some shuffling bound to happen in Colorado thanks their likely low finish in the standings, Liles would be able to fetch the best return among current Avs defensemen. For that reason alone, it would make sense for the Avs to ship him out. He does have a pretty expensive $4.2 million cap hit, though, which might scare away potential suitors. 

For more on the Leafs, check in with SB Nation's Pension Plan Puppets.