Toronto Maple Leafs: Thoughts On Rumors, UFA’s, Signings


Leafs Nation are a passionate bunch! We wear our hearts on our sleeves and aren’t afraid to fight to make a point so it’s always an exciting time when a new trade rumor, free agent signing, or other Toronto Maple Leafs news hits the web. Once in a while, I’ll break down what’s “in the news” and give you my perspective. You know what they say about opinions. Well here’s mine…..

On Dion Phaneuf

Dean Blundell of Sportsnet 590 recently reported on his morning radio show that “he was hearing” that Toronto and Colorado were discussing a deal that would see the Leafs get O’ Reilly and the 10th pick in this year’s draft in exchange for Dion Phaneuf and the 4th pick.

I would be hesitant to give up that 4th pick at all let alone for a $6 million cap hit that is an unrestricted free agent on July 1st 2016. To even consider this, I would want to see O’Reilly signed to a contract extension before the deal was completed. Even then, I would be very weary of trading that pick at all.

On Phil Kessel

The Kessel trade rumours are heating up since Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that “a handful of teams” were inquiring about him at the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo. The rumours that intrigue me most are the ones that include Top 10 picks in this year’s draft from Carolina and New Jersey. Back in April, it was reported that the Devils, who are looking for scoring, would be interested in moving their 6th overall pick for Kessel.

“Phil The Thrill” has also been linked to the Canes in various scenarios with Carolina’s 5th overall pick being the main piece coming back. Any scenario that has the Toronto Maple Leafs with two picks in the Top 6 intrigues me as it would be nice to get a forward (Marner or Strome) and a defenseman (Hanafin or Provorov) in this year’s deep draft.

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A Kessel trade will be complicated as there are thought to be only 8 teams on his current contract that he has agreed to be moved to as TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported.

Prior to the trade deadline, TSN reported those eight teams were believed to be: “Boston; Chicago; Los Angeles; Minnesota; Montreal; New York Rangers; Philadelphia; and Pittsburgh”. That doesn’t mean that Kessel can’t be traded elsewhere if a deal is worked out and agrees to waive his limited NTC.

On Matt Beleskey

Doug McLean of Sportsnet reported that Toronto should target Beleskey. The Leafs should stay far away from him. Rumour has it, he will be looking for in the neighbourhood of $4-5 million per season and at least 3 years. As big as he was in the playoffs this year with Anaheim, he’s still a 32-point player.

On Andreas Johnson

The Leafs recently signed Swedish forward Andreas Johnson to a 3-year entry-level contract. Johnson was drafted by former GM David Nonis in the 7th-round (202nd overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Check out Torrin Batchelor’s prospects report on Johnson right here at Editor In Leaf.

A look at this highlight video shows speed, hands, and a nose for the net. He could be the late round steal for the Leafs that we haven’t seen in quite a while.

On former Toronto Maple Leafs returning

UFA Cody Franson recently told TSN Radio that he would definitely be interested in returning to the Leafs. Thanks, but no thanks. There are better ways to spend $5 million during a rebuild. I would, however, be open to a Mike Santorelli return. A cheap, hard-working forward who would be a great mentor for younger players.

The same can be said for Daniel Winnik. Either of these guys would be welcome in my dressing room on contracts under $2 million per season.

On Zach Sill

A throw-in along with two draft picks in the Daniel Winnik trade, Sill surprised the Leafs with a great showing in the last 24 games of the season. The 27-year old native of Truro, Nova Scotia, showed a feistiness and enthusiasm that was almost non-existent in the Toronto Maple Leafs dressing room last season.

If I’m Babcock, I want that kind of player on my roster. The club should be able to get him signed at $1 million per season or less which is a bargain for that kind of character player.

On Steven Stamkos

Though I have no personal preference as to who wins the Stanley Cup, the dreamer in me wants it to be Tampa. You have to think that Stamkos would be more likely to look at a Babcock-coached Leaf team as an option in 2016 if he already has a cup to his name.

On John Tavares

Using that same logic, I also hope the Islanders win a cup in the next three seasons so Tavares can join him.

On P.K Subban

Say what you want about P.K but a recent video released on showing him “crashing a kids road hockey game” is too awesome to ignore! P.K is a class act… but I still hate the habs!

Until next time… KEEP IT BLUE

Next: Leafs Rumors: Fielding Calls On Multiple Players

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