What if the Leafs had let Justin Holl be taken by the Kraken?

Many fans, including myself, are remorseful about the apparent loss of newly acquired Jared McCann to the Seattle Kraken in their expansion draft. The draft will be finalized tonight, but Nation Network’s own Frank Seravalli has all but cemented the loss:

His stay was short-lived in Toronto. The #SeaKraken will be selecting Jared McCann from the #Leafs.
The end result: Toronto traded prospect Filip Hallander and a 7th round pick to Pittsburgh to essentially protect their roster from Seattle.@DFOHockey
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 21, 2021

As frustrating as it is to see a talented player who fits the Leafs’ needs be stolen away in the night, the alternative would have been to partially de-construct a carefully-built top-4 defense corps by losing Justin Holl. While Holl is on the fringes of what we’d normally call a top-4 defender in the NHL, getting someone capable of playing that role, especially for such a reasonable contract, would be a difficult exercise in player management.
It’s exactly that exercise that I’m going to task myself with today. This is under the assumption that in this alternate universe, the Leafs left Justin Holl exposed in the expansion draft and he was …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation