The Toronto Maple Leafs almost made a horrible mistake.
According to Elliotte Friedman, and reported during the Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins game Saturday night on Hockey Night in Canada, GM Brad Treliving almost acquired both Nikita Zadorov and Chris Tanev from the Flames.
The reason the deal didn’t get done, according to Friedman, is because the teams couldn’t agree on compensation for Calgary retaining half the almost eight million dollars the pair makes.
Like their record for the season, the Leafs got lucky again.
Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Rumour: Treliving Saved From Himself
Zadorov is a mistake-prone second pairing guy who is about as reliable as Jake McCabe, only he’s huge, which make him crazy-overrated.
Tanev is going to be 33 this season, and he used to be an elite defensive defensemen, but he’s old for an NHL player and the Leafs main problem this year has been the unreliability of older defensemen. (I’m not even talking about the injuries, just the decline of Giodano, Brodie, McCabe and Klingberg).
This trade would have been horrible.
How much of an upgrade would Zadorov be to what the Leafs are playing? Sure, he’s a more name-brand player, but William Lagesson has been fine. Zadorov is the kind of player who doesn’t come close to earning their salary and who blocks young players from getting ice time, and whom the coach will rely on situations he shouldn’t.
At the cost Vancouver paid, he would really have helped this week, but the Leafs strong record has bought them time and maybe they should wait it out and use the money they would have spent on Zadorov a little more wisely.
As for Tanev, at his best he’s an awesome addition, but he is a name-brand player whose attempted acquisition reeks of the same thought process that brought you Klingberg and Max Domi.
The Toronto Maple Leafs need to set their sites higher.
Even at 50% retained, trading for Tanev and Zadorov would have been a poor use of the limited cap space the Leafs have.
It would have made their blue-line a little bit better in reality, and a lot better by name recognition, but the Leafs problem really isn’t that that have to dress Benoit and Timmins. It’s that they have to play Giordano, Brodie and McCabe way higher in the lineup than they should.
Making this trade wouldn’t really have changed that much, if at all.
In fact, this trade seems kind of lazy – just going for the guys on your old team is the biggest cliche in hockey. It’s one thing if you can rob your old team like Cliff Fletcher, but this appears to be the Flames new regime trading guys they aren’t attached to to a GM who is still attached to the players he previously acquired.
The Leafs record and John Klingberg’s injury have conspired to save Treliving from truly getting the criticism he’s deserved, and not being able to close the deal with Calgary was another lucky break.
That trade would have been stupid.
It is becoming apparent that Brad Treliving’s vision for this team is awful. He’s really lucky this trade couldn’t happen because it would have guaranteed his tenure as Leafs GM was a short one.
He gets a do-over he probably hasn’t earned, and we can all be thankful for that.