As we approach Noon EST, all is quiet with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but reports are surfacing on what may go down before 3 p.m. arrives.
The Leafs did make one minor trade this morning, flipping third-string goaltender Michael Hutchinson for former Leafs/Marlies defenseman Calle Rosen, who was traded to Colorado in the Nazem Kadri deal last offseason. He has spent most of his time with Colorado’s AHL affiliate this year, accumulating 15 points in 35 games.
Rosen, who has made eight NHL appearances for the Avs this season, had signed a two-year contract extension with the Leafs a few months prior to the trade for $750,000 per season, meaning the 26-year-old Swede is signed beyond this year.
Whether the Leafs would give him a look on the left side of their blue line at the NHL level at some point this season remains to be seen, but it would make some sense given the Leafs’ need to avoid hitting the 40-game threshold with rookie Rasmus Sandin (23 games played currently with 20 games remaining) due to implications with the RFA rights window. Mainly, Rosen will give the Marlies‘ blue line — which has lost Sandin and Timothy Liljegren — a boost with the team in the thick of a playoff battle.
The other interesting storyline to this Rosen acquisition is that it may be part one of the Leafs recovering assets from the Tyson Barrie for Nazem Kadri trade, with Barrie said to be on the market today. More on that in the links below.
Update (Noon EST):
DET claims Timashov
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 24, 2020
Dmytro Timashov did not clear waivers today, as the Red Wings have claimed the 23-year-old left winger. Kyle Dubas was said to be looking to find value in return for Timashov for some time after reports of a trade request in search of more ice-time opportunity, but in the end, Dubas couldn’t find a deal and yesterday exposed him to all 30 rival clubs for free.
Friedman: Leafs looking to move Barrie, grab D who can tide them over (SN590)
Elliotte Friedman suggests the Saturday loss confirmed for management that the Leafs will not be in buy mode today.
The Leafs were in on Zach Bogosian. After the loss on Saturday, that changed. You look at some of their recent performances — the loss to Pittsburgh even though they recovered with the win — and then that particular loss. I think the Maple Leafs as an organization have decided to bet on this team this year.
That doesn’t mean they are tearing it down. I don’t necessarily think you are going to see major surgery today. What I do think you will see is that they’re not adding short-term pieces that are going to cost us in order to make a run this year.
I think that is the true result of Saturday night’s game. The organization has decided no short-term bets. I don’t know if they are going to be able to pursue a long-term fix on defense, but I do think they are going to look into it — if not today, then by the offseason.
On getting a defenseman to replace Barrie:
If they do trade Barrie, I believe part of that trade will be a defenseman who can tide them over until Rielly and Ceci are ready — something to add to their depth even though they might not be getting the same talent that Barrie has. And then they’ll see what is available in the offseason.
I guess they could go out and get a long-term right D today, but I am not expecting it. It could happen — I think they’ll see if something is available — but I am not expecting it.
Right now, you’ve got two teams that are just bumbling to the finish line in Toronto and Florida, and one of them is going to make the playoffs. There is no reason the Leafs shouldn’t compete to be that team. Yes, maybe you get into the playoffs and something surprising happens, bu generally what you are looking at is the big picture. The big picture is they still believe in their talent, but for whatever reason, they’re not yet ready to win, and they’ve got to keep adding to it — whether it is now or a few months from now.
Dhaliwal: Leafs were looking for Stetcher + + for Barrie (TSN1040)
Rick Dhaliwal discussed the Leafs’ asking price for Tyson Barrie in negotiations with the Vancouver Canucks.
Toronto wants a lot. Yesterday, it was really hot with Barrie talk. Today, it has cooled off.
It is a roster player, a prospect, and a conditional pick. The conditional pick would be if Barrie signs in Vancouver. How can you sign Tyson Barrie when you’ve got Markstrom, Tanev, and Toffoli as UFAs?
They would want a prospect like Brogan Rafferty, I’m guessing, or Juolevi — something like that.
Johnston: 80-20 Barrie will move (SN590)
On Leafs Hour, Chris Johnston discussed the likelihood of Tyson Barrie moving and the odds the Leafs add a D in the same or a subsequent move.
I probably would have had it at 50-50 on Thursday or Friday. I think it is like 80-20 now. There is no guarantee. I think the Leafs aren’t just giving him away. They have to really feel they are getting value back to do it. Otherwise, you may as well keep him around.
It is not a situation where like with Ottawa, who felt they had to get anything for Namestnikov. It’s not like that with Barrie. It certainly seems more likely than not. There has been interest there. They are playing that tango game where I know Vegas is looking at him and going, “Yeah, but what is the real price. You say it ia first and a prospect, but come on — let’s get serious.” That is where this will ultimately get sorted out.
I think there is a desire to get some assets back. The Leafs have spent some in recent years. I think they don’t believe there is going to be that big of a falloff without him depending on what the return is.
On whether the team has to get a D back in the Barrie trade (either in the trade or a subsequent move):
I don’t think they have to. I think it would be preferable. For example, if they were making the deal with Vegas, I don’t think we are talking about them getting a player back that would be in their top-six. Vancouver is obviously pushing the Stetcher angle partially because they need the cap relief and partially because I think it just makes sense for them. If they are doing this deal with another team, I don’t think it is a guarantee or a foregone conclusion they would be getting back another D.
They’d like to in a perfect world, but I just think it’s threading a needle and it’s really difficult set of moves to make. Everyone is taking about Matthew Dumba. I don’t think Minnesota is going to back off on their demand of Nylander being a part of that package. I don’t see the Leafs doing that.
Maybe there are some other D out there, but realistically, I don’t think that is likely to happen.