The Toronto Maple Leafs have made three trades this season, none of them particularly big. The first was to acquire Peter Holland in mid November, the second was the John-Michael Liles-for-Tim Gleason deal and last night the Leafs made a minor-league deal to acquire Brandon Kozun.
Now all these trades aren’t barn burners, the Kozun acquisition wasn’t even mentioned on Sportsnet Connected, but the first two deals have helped the team.
The question is whether or not there is any more deals coming. There have been plenty of rumors, however nothing big seems to be on the horizon.
The names of Nazem Kadri, Jake Gardiner, James Reimer and Cody Franson have been thrown around as players who are most likely to be shipped out of town. It’s the youth of those players that’s making it really hard to make a deal.
The Leafs will want young players in return for those players and teams usually don’t give on players so soon. Of course, a lot of trade talk out of Toronto is driven by fans.
There are technically two trade deadlines this year. There will be a trade freeze during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Some teams will try to save money by trying to shed Olympic players salary before the Games start.
Then, of course, there is the NHL Trade Deadline on March 5. That will only be a week or so after the NHL resumes play. There could be another group of moves in that week.
Will the Leafs be involved? As long as they keep playing like they are right now, the pressure will decrease. However, if they fall back into another week-long slump, that pressure will ramp right back up.