The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Tampa Bay Lightning have made some minor league moves this afternoon, with the Leafs sending Marliesâ€™ forwards Alex Berry and Stefano Giliati in exchange for minor league defenseman Matt Lashoff.
In Lashoff, the Leafs are getting a young, depth guy who will likely play out the year for the Marlies.Â A former 1st round Bruins draft pick, Lashoff has some size and offensive skill, but couldnâ€™t translate his ability beyond the AHL level for any extended period of time.Â In 63 NHL games between Boston and Tampa, heâ€™s tallied 1 goal and 14 assists and is a career -15.Â Still young at 23, heâ€™ll have stiff competition for a spot on the Marlies blue line and a chance at a fresh start after showing promise in both Norfolk and Providence.
The Leafs lose two foot soldiers on the forward ranks in Berry and Giliati.Â Meat and potatoes type of players with little NHL upside, they will be missed for the leadership and experience.Â However, the move offers more opportunities for up and coming forward prospects such as Jerry Dâ€™Amigo, Marcel Mueller and Brayden Irwin.
This is seen by most analysts (Dreger, for example) as a way for the Leafs to offload a contract to open up a space on the 50 man roster.Â With a log-jam of AHL ready prospects at forward, this is a minor, albeit important deal for the buds as it will help give some youngsters some ice time.Â Further, this deal suggests that Burke might not yet be done with off season signings or trades.Â Expect Christian Hanson to be re-signed shortly.
And now, dear readers, Iâ€™ll leave you to rampant speculation and trade proposals…