Toronto Maple Leafs' defenceman Morgan Rielly (44) gets taken down by Detroit Red Wings' forward Riley Sheahan (15) during second period NHL hockey action, in Toronto, on Nov. 6, 2015. NATHAN DENETTE / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Nick Kypreos links Toronto to Riley Sheahan, Lou Lamoriello says the Leafs “can’t get off track” this deadline season, the Leafs head to California, and more in the links.

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Leafs Notebook – Trade Deadline Preview – February 27 (MLHS)
Last night, a trade broke that should make Leafs fans pause for a second. Martin Hanzal and Ryan White netted Arizona a first round pick, a second, and a conditional fourth that has a chance to become a second, as well as a minor leaguer. That is a big draft pick return, even in a weak draft year, for decent-but-not-great veterans. By all accounts, this looks like a sellers’ market. There are a lot of teams that view themselves as serious Cup threats, or at least playoff threats, and very few teams that are putting good players up for sale.

Rumour Roundup: Maple Leafs looking at Red Wings’ Sheahan, Smith (Sportsnet)
“The thought is that Sheahan is having a miserable year,” Kypreos added, noting that the 25-year-old centreman has no goals and sits at minus-19 through 58 games. While some may speculate that the Leafs could look for a discount given Shanahan and Babcock’s connection to Detroit, Kypreos shot down that idea. “The feeling is, regardless of being goalless, that could cost you as much as a first-rounder if the Leafs want him,” Kypreos said.

With deadline looming, Lamoriello says Leafs ‘can’t get off track’ (Toronto Sun)
In Year 2 of the Shanaplan rebuild, a playoff spot was not the stated goal, at least publicly, but here they are in a mix of teams about as close to first in the division as missing the boat again. In a dressing room where the prevailing belief has become “why not us?” as part of the Eastern Conference’s final eight qualifiers, eyes turn to Wednesday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline and whether the Leafs will do something, small or large, to enhance their chances. “First of all, there’s not one team in the NHL that’s never wanted to be in the playoffs,” general manager Lou Lamoriello said on a Sunday afternoon travel day for the team.

Leafs weigh trade options with cash to burn (Toronto Star)
Lamoriello can add a player to help the Leafs now, at the price of a prospect, or he can take on an unwanted contract and add a prospect or pick in the exchange — like they did in acquiring Connor Carrick from the Washington Capitals last season along with Brooks Laich, now earning $4.5 million with the Toronto Marlies. Given the cap space, they could do both.

Leafs’ Joffrey Lupul goes quietly, has likely played his last game (Toronto Sun)
Some say the injured Maple Leaf is in California. Some joke that he is stashed somewhere on what is now called Robidas Island, the place where fallen Leafs go to disappear. What isn’t funny is this: Quite likely, at the age of 33, after 701 NHL games, Lupul has played his last game. Unless there is some quirky salary cap financial reason to do so, he won’t be traded on Wednesday. His contract expires at the end of next season. He won’t be claimed in the Las Vegas expansion draft even though his salary dips to $3.7 million (cap hit is still $5.2 million). The Leafs have paid him this season and will pay him next season to go away and not be heard from. Essentially, they have bought his silence.

Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock expects wins on Western trip (Toronto Sun)
Watching the San Jose Sharks tear up the Vancouver Canucks, in Saturday’s late game and the Los Angeles Kings beat the higher seeded Anaheim Ducks earlier in the day, underlines what the Leafs will be facing on the road this week. Brent Burns, interviewed on Hockey Night In Canada after San Jose won and looking as intimidating off the ice with his beard and gap-tooth grin, will be taking no prisoners among the rookie-laden Leafs. “Three good teams out there and they’ve been good for a long time,” Toronto winger Zach Hyman said.

Loss to Habs reminds Maple Leafs they’re still a work in progress (The Globe & Mail)
Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen, who played almost as well as Price, misjudged a loose puck and Andrew Shaw scored the overtime winner for the Canadiens. But the fact is Andersen engaged in consecutive goal-tending duels with Price and someone else of some renown, Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, and acquitted himself admirably. Having Andersen back on the beam for the stretch drive provides hope for the Leafs’ postseason aspirations.

[Paywall] Maple Leafs rookies brace for ‘nerve-racking’ trade deadline (The Athletic)
As a Maple Leafs fan growing up, Zach Hyman remembers devouring NHL trade deadline coverage. When he was in elementary school, it was all about watching TV coverage, mainly on TSN and Sportsnet, Canada’s two main sports networks, as they competed each year for the most breaking news items. When Hyman was older, he relied on online platforms. “I’d flip back and forth and I remember hoping I wouldn’t have school that day and stay home,” Hyman said. “There was no Twitter when I was in elementary school. In high school, Facebook was there, but I don’t think Twitter was.”

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