5 Deadline Trades That Impact Maple Leafs Stanley Cup Chances

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 13: Taylor Hall #71 of the Boston Bruins skates during the first period of a game against the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on April 13, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 13: Taylor Hall #71 of the Boston Bruins skates during the first period of a game against the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on April 13, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – APRIL 11: Kyle Palmieri #21 of the New York Islanders  . (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

No. 3: Lou Lamoriello Makes a Splash With Former Team

The Trade: 

  • New York Islanders acquire: Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac
  • New Jersey Devils acquire: A.J. Greer, Mason Jobst, 2021 first-round pick and 2022 fourth-round pick

Barry Trotz may be the greatest coach in the NHL. After winning the Stanley Cup with Washington a few years ago, he’s taken his defensive-first system to Long Island and has turned New York into a Stanley cup favorite for the second year in a row.

Instead of making a flashy-move and acquiring Taylor Hall, the Islanders made a better trade for their roster, by acquiring Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac. Lamoriello decided to go back to his roots and trade for two New Jersey Devils players, who should fit great in New York.

After Anders Lee sustained a season-ending injury, the Islanders had $7M in cap-space that they could use to replace him. They used it very wisely, as Palmieri will be able to replace Lee’s scoring, while Zajac can replace some of his leadership.

Palmieri was rumored to the Maple Leafs and would have been a great fit there, but he’s even better in New York. Although he’s a 30-goal scorer, he’s very sound defensively and plays a structured game. He’ll be someone that Barry Trotz can relay on nightly to provide offense, but not cost them in his own zone.

The Islanders are a sneaky team to win the Stanley Cup this year, and as a Leafs fan, they scare the heck out of me in the playoffs. This trade could put them over the edge as the favorite in the East Division, as they look to get back to the Final Four for the second year in a row.