Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Rumors: Five Eve Thoughts


It’s trade deadline eve and the deals were pouring in today leading up to the 3pmET deadline tomorrow. What does that mean for the Toronto Maple Leafs?

Here are five thoughts to chew on overnight based on what’s happened today…

1) The Detroit Red Wings were rumored to interest with Dion Phaneuf and Joffrey Lupul. Then they acquired Erik Cole – so we can scratch Lupul off of the list for Detroit. It will be a tough sell to fit Phaneuf into the Wings cap structure currently and beyond this year with pending RFA’s on deck. There would have to be a lot of moving parts.

2) On Booth/Jokinen and what might hinder a deal…

"(C) Under no circumstances may a Club: (1) Have in its Averaged Club Salary in any single League Year amounts attributable to more than three (3) Retained Salary SPCs for Players that the Club has Traded to other Club(s)"

And here is the definition of “League Year” under the CBA:

"“League Year” means the period from July 1 of one calendar year to and including June 30 of the following calendar year or such other one year period to which the NHL and the NHLPA may agree."

For the Leafs that means if they are to retain salary on Phaneuf – whether it’s now or at the draft – he would be their third retained salary count in the “league year” – making it more difficult to move other players at the deadline/draft.

The San Jose Sharks dealt James Sheppard for a fourth round pick this evening. That’s a similar return the Leafs could hope for with Olli Jokinen and David Booth. The catch? The Sharks retained $100K to make the books even for the Rangers.

With the Leafs already at 2 retained salaries (Winnik, Gunnarsson) that would throw a wrench into a potential Phaneuf or Lupul deal. Conversely it might prove difficult to move either Booth or Jokinen without eating some of the cap hit.

If the Leafs retain one more salary then they are unable to do so again until July 1st.

3) The Jonathan Bernier chatter…

Darren Dreger says the Leafs aren’t shopping Bernier – and wisely so – but they are listening to offers.

Any deal involving Bernier would be extensive. A first round pick for sure and more. He’s a solid goaltender and a legitimate starter despite what people want you to believe. Look at the numbers. He hasn’t been the problem in Toronto – he’s been the last line of defence behind a very weak front line.

Never say never but I’d bet the Leafs don’t deal Bernier. They should be focusing on clearing areas that need clearing and bringing in assets – not shipping them out.

4) With Tyler Bozak in rumors – and on TSN’s trade bait list – now might be the biggest return they’d get for the misused centerman. Both Curtis Glencross and Erik Cole netted 2nd round picks within their deals. He’s not an easy sell, but it’s a sellers market right now.

5) And a non-deadline thought…

From Steve Simmons – take it for what it’s worth.

"Until Mike Babcock commits to the Detroit Red Wings going forward, the Maple Leafs are of the belief there remains a considerable chance he will be their coach next season. (Toronto Sun)"

This talk has kind of died down considerably as the Leafs season flew off a cliff. At last mention the Wings wanted Babcock back – which won’t really change – and people suggested he might stay.

Obviously, if Babcock is available the Leafs will throw a Bell/Rogers-Stamped blank check at the decorated coach to try and pry him away from Detroit – although he’d be walking into a brand new full-on rebuild after years and years of consistent success.

Be sure to check back in tomorrow for all the Leafs related deadline news.