In what can be nothing more than a depth signing at this point given their traffic jam on the blueline, the Leafs added former first round pick Matt Lashoff in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier today. Lashoff, a 23 year old defenseman, spent most of the last five seasons playing in the AHL with the Lightning and Bruins’ organizations, and has had a few solid years. He scored 29 points and 105 penalty minutes for the Norfolk Admirals last year, and will likely step right onto the Marlies’ roster.
The Leafs sent Alex Berry and Stefano Giliati to Tampa Bay, and I can’t say I’m too worried about the losses. Neither player had shown any tremendous promise, and Lashoff has at least generated some hype with his play. The two forwards combined for just 16 points between the two of them in Toronto last season, although Giliati did split the season between the Marlies and the Reading Royals.
Don’t be surprised if this isn’t the last minor deal Burke makes leading up to the season. The roster could definitely still use some work, and I’m a bit surprised a bigger effort wasn’t made to sign Raffi Torres, who recently landed in Vancouver. With only a couple weeks left before the puck drops on this season, it will be interesting to see Burke’s finishing touches.