Ostensibly a lock to be traded, PA Parenteau remained a Leaf after today’s 3 p.m. deadline passed.

Back on July 1, the Leafs signed PA Parenteau to a one-year, $1.5 million contract. It was a low-risk bet on his career production and the likelihood of a bounce back season after a terrible year in Montreal. There happened to be some prime opportunity available on a Leafs team that just minutes earlier had a massive hole open up on right wing with the Phil Kessel trade.

It was a smart bet given Parenteau’s career numbers, strong possession track record, and the fact that he experienced some bad luck in 2014-15 in terms of his on-ice shooting percentage before he fell out of favour with Michel Therrien. While he got off to an inauspicious start with just two points in his first 11 games, Parenteau has posted 15 goals and 30 points in 49 games since while playing about 17 minutes a night and featuring prominently on the Leafs powerplay.

Fast forward to the deadline. What was seemingly holding up the inevitable Parenteau deal throughout the past few days was the fact that bigger names Mikkel Boedker and Lou Eriksson were out on the market, while fellow right winger Lee Stempniak — who has outproduced PAP with 41 points in 63 games — was available for half the cap hit ($800,000). Stempniak didn’t end up moving until the last minute to Boston for a second and a fourth round pick, which was the sort of return Leafs fans were hoping for on Parenteau.

As we talked about last week, Parenteau resides in an awkward spot where he’s probably not a top-six player and powerplay option on a good team and ostensibly doesn’t slot favourably into a bottom six group. The market is never the same year to year, but that’s perhaps one part of the difference between Curtis Glencross from last deadline (who moved for a 2nd and a third), today’s Lee Stempniak trade, and the lack of a return on Parenteau.

Perhaps a better indicator of the market for Parenteau was today’s Brandon Pirri trade. Pirri has 33 goals in his last 101 games for the Panthers and went for just a sixth rounder to Anaheim an hour before the deadline — and he’s an RFA at year’s end, not a straight-up rental.

The Islanders were said to have some interest in Parenteau but weren’t prepared to go as high as a second round pick for him. They ultimately traded a third rounder to Ottawa for Shane Prince to add some wing depth. Was that same offer there for Parenteau? It’s tough to say. Prince is 23 years old, has some upside, and the Isles will retain control this summer because he’s an RFA.

Perhaps Lou set a price, didn’t budge, and the market called his bluff. Perhaps this is just how Lou rolls when his demands aren’t met. Or perhaps an official offer never materialized.

Plenty of GMs were content to sit on their hands today rather than fork over futures for a rental — a combination of more remaining sellers than buyers and some capped-out contending teams. While fans won’t be thrilled on a lack of return on Parenteau, the other angle to to this is that Lamoriello arguably looks smarter now having got out in front of the deadline with the Roman Polak deal (which proved his biggest get of the deadline on a rental asset). The flexibility and willingness to take back contracts and salary is the obviously biggest reason the Leafs did as well as they did on the Winnik and Polak deals.

The Leafs can’t jettison their entire roster at the end of the day, so the determination must have been that the value available wasn’t worth moving out a competent-enough stopgap top six forward. Parenteau has indicated a desire to stay in Toronto, but the Leafs would obviously have to be extremely cautious about handing him any term beyond next season.

Other odds and ends:

  • Obviously, if Parenteau wasn’t going to move for value in this market, there was little chance Brad Boyes or Michael Grabner were going to.
  • You wonder if the Leafs and Hawks revisit a Jared Cowen for Bryan Bickell + pick/prospect swap at the draft. Makes sense given the cap circumstances. The Hawks pushed hard to find a place for Bickell — who requested a trade in January — but reportedly couldn’t make it work. Of course, the Leafs may just buy him out, but there could be an opportunity to exploit a tough cap situation.
  • Jared Cowen will not play at all the rest of the season according to Lou Lamoriello. Won’t risk an injury spoiling the buyout.
  • Lamoriello said there was no consideration given toward trading Leo Komarov, who he labeled a “core member.”
  • Alex Stalock cleared waivers and joined the Marlies today.
  • The Leafs recalled William Nylander, Kasperi Kapanen, Zach Hyman, Nikita Soshnikov and Ben Smith. All are expected to play tonight. Garret Sparks will start in net.
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