Bob McKenzie on TSN Drive:
[Zach] Sill is obviously a component where the contact had to come back the other way. The Penguins not only needed the Leafs to eat half of Winnik’s salary for remainder of the deal — it’s only rest of this season — but they also needed them to take Sill, that’s how tight things are vis-a-vis the salary cap. Whether they want Sill or whether he was just an economic consideration remains to be seen; [it’s] probably an economic consideration. Hey, two draft picks for a guy you signed in the summer for a shade over a million is like buying draft picks. If you told teams, “give a million bucks and you get to use the player for 5-6 months, and get you get a 2nd and 4th,” they would say, “works for me.” That’s what it boils down to: asset management, parlaying a productive FA signing from last summer into tangible assets for the future.
If they’re going to be active now, guys we talked about forever – Franson, Santorelli, Winnik – are gone, the rental market is gone. If they’re going to make a move now, they’re trading term and dollars. Do they get offers that get them to the ballpark of contemplating moving Lupul, Bozak, Phaneuf? At this point we just have to wait and see like everybody else. I imagine the best offers won’t come filtering in until Sunday or Monday.
James Mirtle on TSN Drive:
I think they did okay. I mean, we are are looking at a guy who is a third liner, maybe a second liner, and he’s a rental player obviously. Teams are trying to hold onto picks more than they have in the past because they realize the value in the draft. They were trying to get a 2nd or a 3rd round pick and they got a 2nd and a 4th, so they almost got what they wanted. I don’t think we can be too critical about what happened here.
Other moves before the deadline:
They’re going to try, but I’m pretty sceptical they can pull anything off. It’s pretty telling in this deal even that the Leafs had to retain half of Dan Winnik’s salary, which wasn’t a lot of money. The fact is, other players the Leafs are trying to move have much bigger salaries than Dan Winnik. The teams that are going to want some of the other guys available just do not have the cap room. If the Leafs want to move a Joffrey Lupul or a Tyler Bozak, or the bigger names in Kessel and Phaneuf, it’s going to be very difficult to pull that off. Dave Nonis even alluded to that, he said that it’s much tougher to make those type of trades in season. They’re going to try, but I won’t be surprised if they don’t do a whole lot more than this.
Bigger moves in the offseason:
It’s going to be difficult. It sounds like they’re going to pull this apart. I’d be shocked if at least one of Kessel or Phaneuf isn’t gone. I’d be very surprised if Tyler Bozak is back. They’re going to try and move Joffrey Lupul. This team is going to be very active, it just might not be in the next week. It might come in the summer. These are going to be tough deals to pull off no matter what, especially with all the talk about how salary cap might not even go up at all. They’re going to have to get creative with that. Maybe you look around the league and you look at a player — I know Montreal is talking about moving out Lars Eller, there’s a guy who doesn’t have that many years left on his contract, a $3.5 million deal. Maybe you take back a contract a team like Montreal is trying to move. You don’t necessarily want him to be a part of the solution, but it might facilitate you moving out a contract with more term and more dollars on it.