The Toronto Maple Leafs are the in a bit of a dormant period.
The Toronto Maple Leafs kicked off the off-season with a sweet trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but have been mostly quiet ever since. This makes sense – there is no point in making trades when some teams can’t even participate.
The exception, as in the Kapanen deal, is when you’re getting such a sweetheart deal that you have to pull the trigger before the other guy realizes what he is doing. And make no mistake, the Leafs embarrassed the Penguins with that trade.
Kapanen, who you will recall we graded an F this season, has been a sub-replacement player in two of his three NHL seasons and has failed to click when given minutes with John Tavares or Auston Matthews. The Leafs have Alex Barabanov signed and ready to replace Kapanen for the league minimum.
So in essence, the Leafs moved down two spots in the draft and sent out a player they were getting negative value from, whom they had already replaced, and in exchange they saved $2 million dollars next year, saved $6 this year from Marleau, and added a top prospect in Filip Hollander, and added a sixth rounder.
The math on the two trades (Marleau, Kapanen) is so far in the Leafs favor I had to check my notes about ten times to make sure I got it right.
Anyways, that is the recap, here are your news, notes and thoughts:
Toronto Maple Leafs News, Notes and Thoughts
The underrated Leafs were ranked 19th in PDO this season, while Colorado, Tampa and Boston were ranked 1,2,3. Just in case you were wondering why the Leafs were getting so underrated by people this off-season.
The NHL announced that the draft this year will take place Tuesday October 6th and Wednesday the 7th. The Leafs will most likely trade their pick, but who knows? Weirder things have happened, and they might not be as down on their blue-line as other people are.
In other Leafs notes, they are the only Canadian team that hasn’t laid off people or cut pay to staff.
Good for them, but shame on all the other teams since they are owned by billionaires who, once again, choose selfishness over doing the right thing.
In case you forgot, the Leafs will get David Clarkson and Nathan Horton off the books this season, and are on track to start next year with nobody on the LTIR. This is helpful in many technical ways, as I believe with no one the LTIR you can build up some extra cap room. The NHL salary cap is complicated and I don’t even pretend to fully understand the technicalities, but its undoubtedly a good thing for these contracts to be gone.
Then again, maybe this just gives the Leafs a chance to get paid to take other teams bad contracts. By being the richest team in the NHL, the Leafs are set to take advantage of the poor NHL economy in many creative ways.
The flat cap hurts their team in because the assumption of signing Marner and Tavares to such player friendly deals was that the cap would go up. But even though that is going to hurt them, they should come out ahead because most other teams will be cutting salary.
That means that the Leafs can do something like trade Andersen, who despite his $5 million dollar cap hit, has 80% of his real money already paid out.
This means that if the Leafs get creative, there are tons of things out there for them that normally wouldn’t be. Say, for example, the Coyotes want to cut costs. The Leafs could give them one year of Andersen for two years of Darcy Kuemper.
The deal would save the Coyotes over $3 million, while the Toronto Maple Leafs would get an upgrade in net, and an extra year of control. Something to think about while we wait for the playoffs to finish so we can get onto some Leafs-centric action.