It’s the Shanny and Lou trademark – speculate all you want, but you’ll never see it coming.

You never really saw the Leafs getting Mike Babcock, you certainly never saw them getting Lou Lamoriello, and you definitely didn’t predict a nine-player trade with the Ottawa Senators that sent captain Dion Phaneuf to the other side of the Battle of Ontario.

The Leafs had to avoid a retained salary transaction here at all costs knowing Phil Kessel’s dead money is already on the books for the duration of his same-length contract.

They’ve done exactly that by taking on a collection of short-term salary dumps, including the remainder of Jared Cowen’s contract – one more year at $3.1 million before he becomes an RFA – Colin Greening’s contract – one more year at $2.65 million before he becomes a UFA – and Milan Michalek’s contract – a UFA after one more year at $4 million.

Swedish forward Tobias Lindberg, a big 20-year-old right winger, has had a promising season in the AHL for a player his age with 22 points in 34 games. He’s a former fourth rounder and is probably fairly labeled as a “B prospect,” but paired with the second rounder the Leafs have done as good as could’ve been reasonably expected here without retaining.

Lots more to come. What a bombshell.

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