Almost a week ago, I wrote about how it could be time for the Toronto Maple Leafs to trade Joffrey Lupul. Today, I look at possible destinations for the left winger.
As I said in the previous post, Lupul might be injury prone but he is also a very valuable member of any team he is on. Prior to this season, he was averaging more than a point per game for the previous two seasons. If the Leafs chose to trade him, there should be no shortage of suitors.
I have come up with three trades that would see the Leafs moving Lupul. In two of them, the Leafs are receiving a prospect or young player in return. This is because I believe that there are a few players on the Toronto Marlies that could step up and take Lupul’s spot.
Here we go with the first trade.
To Dallas: Joffrey Lupul & 2015 Conditional 3rd Round Pick
To Toronto: Jamie Oleksiak
A lot of you might not Oleksiak’s name as he has only played 23 NHL games over the past two seasons. Oleksiak was drafted 14th overall by Dallas in the 2011 NHL Draft and is a 6’7″ behemoth. In a division with huge defenseman like Zdeno Chara, Tyler Myers and soon Jarred Tinordi, the Leafs could use one of their own. Oleksiak would fill that role nicely.
If the Stars choose not to bring back Ray Whitney, Lupul would be more than a capable replacement. The conditional pick would be based off of how many games Lupul plays next season, where the third-rounder could become a second-rounder if Lupul played less than half a season.
To Florida: Joffrey Lupul
To Toronto: Rocco Grimaldi & 2014 4th Round Pick
Grimaldi is even less known than Oleksiak but if you look at what he is done while in US College, you can see he has talent. Drafted by Florida with the 33rd pick in 2011, he slipped into the second round mostly because of his diminutive size. While some might look at his size as a detriment, he certainly doesn’t.
Lupul would be a veteran leader on a young Panthers team that could certainly use it.
To San Jose: Joffrey Lupul & Jake Gardiner
To Toronto: Joe Pavelski
Here’s the big one.
In San Jose, there is probably a shake-up of some sort coming. However, when it comes to their offensive core, there are complications. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau probably can’t be moved because of their new contract extensions. Logan Couture certainly isn’t going anywhere. So if the Sharks want to make a big move, it looks like Pavelski might be the odd one out.
The Leafs should try to at least explore this option. If you look at what the line of Pavelski, Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk did the 2014 Sochi Olympics, you’ll realize that was probably the best line for any team in Sochi.
Of course, the Sharks will want something big in return so I think Gardiner will have to be included. This would give the Sharks another veteran leader and a young defenseman to add to their core.