Toronto Maple Leafs: Grading Kyle Dubas Trades Part 2

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 22: General manager Kyle Dubas of the Toronto Maple Leafs looks on during the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 22, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JUNE 22: General manager Kyle Dubas of the Toronto Maple Leafs looks on during the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 22, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs will finish third in the Atlantic if the NHL season does not resume.

The Toronto Maple Leafs general manager, Kyle Dubas has done a great job by all credible accounts, since being hired to replace the borderline incompetent Lou Lamoriello, who was handing out long term deals to bad players like it was going out of style.

Recently on Editor in Leafs contributor Stephen gave his grades on every trade that Kyle Dubas has made.

We here at EIL love to give you alternative viewpoints, so today I am going to respond to Stephen’s grades and adjust them for what I believe to be accuracy.

We believe that not only are alternative viewpoints important, but that we can serve as example of how two people who like and respect each other can view the same thing in different ways.

Grading the Toronto Maple Leafs Major Trades Under Dubas

Stephen was exhaustive, and he went into even the minor trades, so I will only touch on the major ones here.

 1. Toronto trades Matt Martin to New York Islanders for Eamon McAdam (July 3, 2018)


The fact that the Leafs got someone to take on Matt Martin’s ridiculous contract is a miracle. The fact that it was Lou himself just makes it kind of hilarious.

Great trade for the Leafs, they clear a contract spot, and cap space. Eamon walked as a free-agent and the Leafs saved five million big ones.

2.  The Connor Carrick and Josh Leivo Trades


These were duds from a hockey perspective, but the Leafs GM gave these players his word that if they couldn’t get a regular spot on the Toronto Maple Leafs, he would send them somewhere where they’d get a better opportunity.

You can’t measure that, but I have no doubt that putting people ahead of business will pay off down the road for the Leafs GM.

3. Toronto trades Carl Grundstrom, Sean Durzi and 2019 1st round pick to Los Angeles Kings for Jake Muzzin (January 28, 2019)


Any time you can add a top line player to your lineup without giving up one in return, you win the trade.

The Leafs added Jake Muzzin who is a very good top pairing defenseman and it didn’t really cost them anything but a late pick and some C level prospects.

4. Toronto trades Par Lindholm to Winnipeg Jets for Nic Petan (February 25, 2019)


Probably the one grade I disagreed with Stephen the most was this one.  Par Lindholm is a replacement player who wouldn’t currently make the Leafs.  He is one of  a thousand interchangeable 4th line players, and as such getting a useful player for him was  a steal.

Petan hasn’t been able to cut it in the NHL, but he’s an AHL superstar and may yet find a home in the NHL – certainly he is more skilled than 99% of fourth liners.

5. Toronto trades Patrick Marleau, conditional 1st round pick and 2020 7th round pick to Carolina Hurricanes for 2020 6th round pick (June 22, 2019).


The future hall of famer had nothing left in his tank during his last year in Toronto.  Marleau scored below a fourth line rate while being terrible at defense.  That didn’t stop former coach Mike Babcock from giving him top line minutes, however.

The Leafs were stuck between a rock and a hard place here.  Either take up $6 million in cap space for a completely useless player, or bite the bullet and pay the cost to get out of it.

I would give this an A if they had used that cap space wisely, but to pay a first to get out of a contract then turn around and use that money on Cody Ceci defies explanation.

The trade here was solid and necessary, but a full F grade to Dubas for the Ceci decision.

6. Toronto trades Nazem Kadri, Calle Rosen and 2020 3rd round pick to Colorado Avalanche for Tyson Barrie, Alex Kerfoot and 2020 6th round pick (July 1, 2019)


I don’t know where Stephen was coming from in his F grade here.

Tyson Barrie provided the Leafs with one very good, highly underrated, year of play, while Alex Kerfoot is signed to a bargain deal for several years, and provides elite defense.

In fact, Kerfoot’s advanced stats completely destroy Nazem Kadri’s, and since the Toronto Maple Leafs in no way shape or form miss Kadri’s offense, this trade isn’t just a clear win, it’s an absolute home run.

Kerfoot is one of those guys most people will probably always underappreciated, but he’s a solid player and he helps the team more than Kadri does.

7. Toronto trades Trevor Moore, 2020 3rd round pick, 2021 conditional 3rd round pick to Los Angeles Kings for Kyle Clifford and Jack Campbell (February 5, 2020)


I get that the Leafs got a little desperate, but on principle I hate giving up assets (the two picks) for a back-up goalie.  Campbell is OK for what he does, and Clifford is a fourth line grinder who most likely walks after this season.

dark. Next. Who to Sign and What to Pay

It’s a decent trade, but the idea that a fourth line player who gets 9 minutes per night is going to make a difference in whether or not your team is “tough” is the kind of thing I became a sports writer to make fun of.

Bonus Update: It was pointed out to me that I forgot the Connor Brown and Nikita Zaitsev for Cody Ceci trade.

I rate this trade a  A-.  Getting rid of Zaitsev and giving Brown a chance to play higher in the lineup make it a good trade.  I don’t care for the return, but getting someone to take on Zaitsev for without retaining salary is fantastic.