NHL Trade Deadline Day: Is there anything doing in Leafland?

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Toronto Maple Leafs brass (left to right) VP of Hockey Operations Dave Poulin, Assistant General Manager Claude Loiselle, Special Advisor Cliff Fletcher and new General Manager Dave Nonis during the dying seconds of the 3rd period of the NHL hockey game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Buffalo Sabres on January 21, 2013. The Leafs lost the game 2-1. CARLOS OSORIO/TORONTO STAR

We unwrapped a vanload of presents on Trade Deadline Eve. What’s left for Deadline Day? Perhaps the biggest moves of all, which are likely to be the deals that move Ryan Kesler and Martin St. Louis out of Vancouver and Tampa Bay respectively.

Half of the league’s teams completed a trade yesterday, with the Leafs in the inactive half, besides waiving Trevor Smith to open up some cap space. We’ll find out by noon if he’s clear to join the Marlies (he’s their Captain, technically) for the first time since October. He could also come right back up if nothing transpires before the Deadline and Carlyle still wants him in his lineup.

Any of the players the Leafs might consider selling are more valuable here than gone based on the going rates. Dustin Penner has 32 points in 49 games and was moved for a 4th round pick to Washington yesterday. Raymond has 36 in 63, and both are pending UFAs on cheap one-year contracts.

If the negotiations with Bolland are so cold it’s clear nothing is getting done, the Leafs could probably only expect a mid-round conditional pick dependent on how many games (or playoff games, or something) he plays as a rental; such was the nature of the Stephane Robidas deal to Anaheim yesterday.

There wasn’t much sense in dealing many of these players to begin with, but in Reimer’s case, for instance, there’s been goalies flying around the League the past few days and there are still a few available (Halak). It’s not a sellers’ market.

As for any “buy” options, there is not a whole lot of talk out there about the Leafs and potential targets. We did get the news last night that Dave Bolland is seeing a specialist today and will fly back to Toronto afterward. That doesn’t appear to be a good sign as far as his timeline for a return goes.

Peter Holland should be able fill the 3rd line center role while the Leafs await Bolland’s return, if it’s to ever come, but there might also be some consideration put into a depth center who can  help out on an ailing penalty kill.

As far as defensive help, the Leafs saw Stephane Robidas, Mike Weaver and Andrew MacDonald get traded for a collection of picks (Robidas for a cond. 4th, Weaver for a 5th, MacDonald for a 2nd and a 3rd) and opted not to get involved.

Targets? Or Lack Thereof

Here’s a list Brian Lawton floated yesterday on Twitter:

lawtontweetlawtontweet2

Nothing there makes much sense.

  • Andrew MacDonald: Traded to Philly since the tweet.
  • Tomas Kopecky: The 32-year-old winger makes no sense for the Leafs (or anyone) on a $3,000,000 AAV contract that still has one season left after this. He’s been out hurt with a concussion since late February. 6’3, 203 lb forward as 12 points in 49 games, averages 1:47 on the penalty kill (third among Panthers forwards). 
  • Jordan Leopold: A tad rich for the Leafs’ cap space at $2.25 mill and is signed through 2014-15, which doesn’t make him a rental (which is all the Leafs would want of him, if interested at all). The 33-year-old defenceman averages 15 minutes a night on a deep St. Louis defence core. +2  with six points over 24 games. Broke his hand early in the New Year and missed 24 games, currently day-to-day with an ankle injury. Has a modified No-Trade Clause.
  • Jordan Nolan: Not sure why the Kings would deal him as he’s been a reliable homegrown fourth liner for them and was a part of their Cup run. Skates around 9 minutes a night. Signed in the summer for 700,00k per year through next season.  Doesn’t kill penalties.

 

I’m not sure whether or not Marcel Goc is available in Florida. He’s taken on a significant role for the Panthers, playing 17 minutes a night (that’s pretty much tied for the team lead among the destitute Florida forward ranks, playing between Upshall and Fleischmann as their 2C at the moment) between 4v5 and 5v5, but his contract is expiring. His $1.7 million is something the Leafs could probably make work. He can hold his own at 5v5 and chip in some secondary scoring (has 11 goals and 23 points in 62 games) while playing over 2 minutes a night on the penalty kill, where the Leafs could certainly use assistance. Granted, the Florida penalty kill is the worst in the League, but their save percentage is bottom 3 at both 5v5 and 4v5. If Leafs management is worried that Bolland might not be seen from this season, he’s someone who could do a decent job stepping into the roles they were hoping Bolland would come back and fill.

Anthony wrote last week about his interest in Brian Boyle, who has the same contract ($1.7 million, expires July 1) as Goc. He plays around 13 minutes a night for the Rangers, including 2:05 on the penalty kill  (tops among NYR forwards), and can chip in a little at 5v5 as a 6-foot-6 body down low. The Rangers’ PK is a little more respectable than Florida’s at 11th in the League, but goaltending makes a world of difference. Would the Rangers move their top penalty killer if they feel they can’t get a contract signed? Seems unlikely as of now, with the Rangers in a playoff spot, and his name hasn’t come up much in the rumour mill.

The Leafs, with Trevor Smith sent down and assuming they activate Bolland off LTIR eventually, have about $1.2 million in space to play with. If the news is really negative on Bolland, maybe it at least adds some cap flexibility. Most likely, though, the Leafs are going to be very quiet today (AB4).

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Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]
  • Great Dane

    Good morning or good night Alec
    I doubt that any player that Leafs actually would like to add to the roster will be available today. But with GMs like Gilles, Holmgren and Snow you can never be certain.
    IMO the best move Nonis could make now is to remove Carlyle before it is too late. After 62 games our defensive game is not any better.
    It can be that the Leafs don’t give up many quality chances, but simple math/stats implies that given up enough chances it will hurt – quality or not.
    As CinUK illustrated in a previous blog; if you give up 1000 shots more per season and have a sv% of 93 (and that is good) you will have 70 goals more against.

  • peterbleafs

    Good article and I think precisely speaks on behalf of the vast majority of us here.  But that doesnt mean Nonis doesnt have a hockey trade in the works that is a win win for two teams.  It sure wont be Kesler ans Gilllis is one of those nutjobs who has no concept of value.  But there are western teams who are  interested in a hockey trade of some sort.  Will still be interested in the deadline because the uncertainty of it all still captivates us.

  • 4evrblue

    Good article Alec. I feel NoNo has painted himself into a corner. Even if he wanted to add a big ticket player right now he couldn’t.

  • Great Dane

    4evrblue The problem is that Orr and McLaren has staying on the roster for nothing. 1.8 million is close to 5 million in cap space at the trade deadline.

    To please Carlyle, Nonis do not have any cap space to work with. Sad, but true

  • Burtonboy

    4evrblue  Nonis and Burke before him have steadfastly said over the yrs they prefer doing business outside the trade dead line . Prices too high and the temptation to make stupid deals is real if you get caught up in the frenzy . Who knows they may do something but I don’t expect it and frankly I think the strategy is very wise.

  • mbails

    what would the price tag for kesler be?

  • Burtonboy

    Great Dane 4evrblue  I must be missing something . How does 1.8 mil in cap space = 5 million at the deadline ?

  • Burtonboy

    mbails  Kadri ,Gardiner /Rielly and a 1st for us

  • Burtonboy

    CanuckUKinToronto  I have a very bad feeling about Bolland .

  • Great Dane

    Burtonboy CanuckUKinToronto A clarkson feeling

  • mbails

    Burtonboy mbails thats steep. theres quite a bit id give for kesler including one of kadri or gardiner (not rielly) with 2 prospects and a 2nd (which i dont think we have)…one can dream i guess

  • Great Dane

    Burtonboy Great Dane4evrblue cap hit is prorated with the number of days.

    Simplified if you have a cap hit of 2 million over 180 days (a season) and you don’t use it the first 120 days then you actually of cap space of 6 million for the last 60 days.

    check it out on Capgeek – right now Florida has a cap space of 66 million

  • Burtonboy

    mbails Burtonboy  I would steer clear of Kessler at this point in our growth . The Leafs are building properly for the first time I can remember and sticking to the plan is critical IMO . You can make a huge mistake trading these young player that you will regret for yrs to come

  • Great Dane

    CanuckUKinToronto It is quite simple, and Carlyle obviously don’t get it.

  • Great Dane

    Burtonboy mbails That price for Kesler is ridiculous. especially since he decides where he wants to play

  • mbails

    Burtonboy mbails  i definitely get what your saying. but kesler is a horse, lots of playoff experience, solid production through his career and still has enough in the tank to be part f a rebuild… not a huge fan of trading prospects and picks for vets but i think kesler would be a solid addition and worth it. but not for both kadri and gardiner

  • Burtonboy

    Great Dane Burtonboy 4evrblue  Cap geek says we have 4.1  million and in deadline space  . Bolland on LTIR account for 3.3 mil of that and waiving Smith and McLaren account for another 1.2 . I don’t see the numbers your talking about

  • Burtonboy

    mbails Burtonboy  If we were closer to winning a cup then yeah thats the kind of moves you  make . Not right now

  • mbails

    Burtonboy mbails  maybe i have some bias having watched him play in van many times over a 4 year span while i lived there. he’s a kind of player who can pick an entire team up. not going to happen anyways though.

  • Burtonboy

    mbails Burtonboy  Not saying he’s not a good player . I’m just saying he’s not what we need or should be doing at this point in our growth

  • Great Dane

    Burtonboy Great Dane4evrblue I am talking about what would have been the cap space if McL and Orr hadn’t been on the roster most of the season. 

    All because Carlyle wanted those players. 

    now we only have 4.1 million – A huge mistake

  • Burtonboy

    Great Dane Burtonboy 4evrblue  Not having Orr or McLaren would have given us an extra 1.5  million . Not sure we get much with that amount of money.

  • Burtonboy

    CanuckUKinToronto  Because my friend IMO they have ever intention of re-signing Kulemin . As for Raymond what could we get that would make much off a difference . A 3/4 rd pick ? Besides they may want to see what Raymond can do the rest of the way with a view to re-signing him as well . As for Bolland we get next to nothing because of that injury situation. Who else can we move ?

  • Loric76

    going to be awful tonight
    https://twitter.com/markhmasters https://twitter.com/markhmasters/status/441182640717049856
    Ice at MSG not quite ready to go yet after concert last night; NYR will skate here at 10:30, Leafs at 11:30 http://t.co/JorAzxZdwz

  • phaneufoundlander

    Great Dane Burtonboy CanuckUKinToronto  lol….would Florida take Clarkson too? worth a shot lol

  • MaxwellHowe

    Alec, takes a lot of moxy to offer predictions this year, since almost no one (except CanuckUKinToronto) predicted yesterday would turn into the free-for-all that it did.  One week ago, was there anyone suggesting Luongo would be traded?  I didn’t hear it.
    But I agree, given the return for Penner, it would be hard to imagine our UFAs like Raymond or Kulimen garnering much return – unless somehow the Pens or the Kings come up empty on Moulson, Vanek, Kesler, Hemsky, Cammeleri et al – and get desperate.  But it seems to me there is plenty on the market, so might as well consider our UFAs our rentals.  Hate to contemplate they walk for nothing though.
    Then again, the Leafs might turn it around and play the way they did before the break – and become a legitimate Eatsern threat.

  • phaneufoundlander

    Nonis, just stay the course dude…one player wont get this team to glory…keep the picks and prospects.

  • MaxwellHowe

    How about a hockey trade?  Kadri plus for Jordan Staal.  No doubt Carlyle would wet his pants over that swap.  Would take another maneuver to get under the cap, and while Staal has an AAV of $6 000 000, he’s only 25 I think and under contract until his mid 30s.

  • phaneufoundlander

    Burtonboy mbails  Gillis is out of his mind..Casucks will miss the playoffs and I love it…let the gong show begin.

  • Burtonboy

    CanuckUKinToronto Great Dane Burtonboy  You have to remain cap compliant at all time .

  • Burtonboy

    CanuckUKinToronto Burtonboy  Nonis was pretty clear he intends to re-sign Gardiner this summer. Its not imperative we move Franson or Reimer as they are RFA’s

  • Burtonboy

    CanuckUKinToronto MaxwellHowe To hell with Jordan Staal . Lazy fuck with a huge sense of entitlement as far as I’m concerned. I’ve watched plenty of Canes games this yr and the guy looks like hes semi retired out there

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Make a fuckin deal.

  • Joe_17

    Hey Fellas

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    hello HH.

  • peterbleafs

    Burtonboy mbailsDisagree.  I think its Gardiner, 1st and Kulemin.  They got Mathias

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Can we please FREE for today at the very least?  Hly balls.

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Joe_17  Hello.

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Alright boys…..vacation starts now.  Trade deadline, packing, then Florida.  Oh shit I am pumped !!

  • Joe_17

    TheCanucksnaphook Joe_17  How’s it goin man

  • phaneufoundlander

    CanuckUKinToronto  very lucky

  • Joe_17

    TheCanucksnaphook Joe_17  We have more snow falling here today ffs. This winter has been nutty

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Joe_17 Its going well…but there has to be  a trade today (which i doubt as we are playing in NY this evening and I just dont feel it).

    How are things tehre

  • peterbleafs

    TheCanucksnaphook Joe_17Lupul for Callahan is possible.

  • phaneufoundlander

    CanuckUKinToronto phaneufoundlander  makes sense…acquire what we can for players that might walk for nothing in the summer

  • MaxwellHowe

    CanuckUKinToronto MaxwellHowe No doubt, if that deal is made, Bolland is not being resigned

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    peterbleafs Not possible.

  • peterbleafs

    MaxwellHowe Staals have all disappeared this year.  This is the first time Ive heard their names all season.

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    peterbleafs MaxwellHowe  this is what happens when you play in carolina.

    Eyes of the Hurricanes (my blog) will cover it all when I move there.

  • MaxwellHowe

    peterbleafs MaxwellHowe I’m always a goof off when I’m around my family as well.  Its all beer and stories and lazing around.  Get him away from that troublemaking borther of is, he’ll shape up.  I have no basis for this opinion BTW