Okay, so I normally don’t like writng about trade rumors posted by Eklund, as he can be rather hit or miss, usually miss. However, every now and then he posts a crazy rumor that I just can’t resist writing about.
First, Eklund said that a “TOP” source said that the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes have been talking about a trade that would net the Leafs the Hurricane’s fifth overall pick in exchange for a package of players. That in and of itself sounds crazy, but wait, there’s more. He then added that he was told that the deal could look like this.
The Leafs would acquire the Hurricanes 2015 first round pick as well as right winger Alex Semin in exchange for right winger Phil Kessel, center Nazem Kadri and a third round pick.
So let’s look at this deal. The Leafs sure would be giving up a lot. Kessel is not a surprise here as he will more than likely get traded anyways. It’s Kadri that’s the surprise. He hasn’t really been involved in trade rumors recently.
What the Leafs would be getting back is a bad contract in Alex Semin to offset the Canes taking Kessel’s contract. The most important piece would obviously be that fifth overall pick. With the Leafs already owning the fourth overall selection, that give them two straight picks in the top five. They could potentially end up with Dylan Strome and Mitch Marner, or you could replace one of them with Noah Hanifin.
So would this trade be worth it? It would definitely help the Canes. If this rumor is real, which I doubt, it would imply that the ‘Canes want to win now and don’t want to wait for a player to develop. Of course, they would have to re-sign soon-to-be restricted free agent Kadri.
Taking Semin would be necessary for the deal to be made. The Leafs would be to able to afford him just by jettisoning Kessel. He has a $7 million cap hit for the next three seasons. If the Leafs acquired him, it wouldn’t really matter if he didn’t score all that much with the Leafs rebuilding. It’s that fifth overall pick that matters.
I wouldn’t actually mind if this trade happened. Kessel would be moved. Kadri would get a change of scenery he might need. Most importantly, the Leafs rebuild get helped out a lot.
What do you guys think?