Thirst for firsts? Don't rule out Maple Leafs trading top pick

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Whether just window shopping or forcing his way to the front of the checkout line, Brad Treliving intends to make the most of the final week of NHL deadline deals.

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With words that will titillate trade speculators — and likely rattle his amateur scouts — the Maple Leafs general manager even suggested the club’s first-round draft pick this year could be part of the right deal. A third and sixth were added to a list of sacrifices Thursday to get defenceman Ilya Lyubushkin, a price and cap-saving move that Treliving claimed had saved resources for another, possibly bigger, transaction by Friday afternoon.

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“Listen, we’re going to try and improve our team,” Treliving told media on Friday. “That sounds motherhood-ish and every other GM will say the same. Whether it happens or not, whether you can find the right bits at the right cost and the dance partner that likes what you have, we’ll see what the days bring.”

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So many NHL drafts, including three of the past four, have seen the Leafs give up their first round ticket for playoff help. But Treliving seems no less hesitant than Kyle Dubas and Lou Lamoriello before him to include the prized pick.

“There’s all sorts of talk, but in the right deal, you want to help the team. You have to be careful with first rounders for short-term help, but if it make sense, if you think it’s going to have an impact, you have to look at every option.

“(But) as manager, you can’t look at just the next six-week lens, you balance it. We try to help our team using any and all capital available (in the Lyubushkin trade).”

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Toronto’s blueline, forwards and goaltending could see changes, though Treliving said carrying three netminders for now wasn’t an issue.

“There’s areas we need to address. We will be able to do it all by the deadline? No. And not every team will.”

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