The Toronto Maple Leafs have been one of the busiest teams leading up to the trade deadline. They have already made many moves including dealing away Dion Phaneuf, Shawn Matthias, Roman Polak, Nick Spaling, Daniel Winnik and James Reimer. The team has been gutted, but in return, the Maple Leafs have acquired picks and prospects to build for the future.
It’s an interesting reality watching the Leafs make these moves. In the past, management would have found some way to screw these deals up. But for the first time, it appears that nothing but good has happened. Lou Lamoriello is a savvy veteran general manager and he is working the system in favour of his team.
The Maple Leafs plan looks like it is to be aggressive but smart with their deals. If that is the case, it looks like a success thus far. Time will tell what other moves are coming, but the returns are all very promising.
Calling All Marlies!
The Maple Leafs need to ice a certain amount of players every game night. With so many regulars gone in recent days, it has fallen to the AHL’s Marlies to bolster the roster. Tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning will be no different.
Nylander, Hyman, Soshnikov, Connor Carrick, Colin Smith, Kapanen, and Laich to dress for the Leafs tonight. #TMLtalk
— Paul Hendrick (@HennyTweets) February 29, 2016
The Buds made the call to the AHL and the lineup will feature the NHL debuts of William Nylander, Kasperi Kapanen, Zach Hyman, Nikita Soshnikov, Connor Carrick and Colin Smith, all of whom are in the American Hockey League.
Brooks Laich, acquired by the Buds yesterday in the Winnik deal, will also make his Leafs debut tonight. It will be a makeshift roster taking on Tampa, but there will definitely be an air of excitement. Fans will tune in to see the debuts of all those young players, and the management and coaching staff will get a close up look at the future of the franchise.
Players Still Left
The Maple Leafs are still wheeling and dealing trade wise. We already went through the names of players who have been traded earlier in the article. Let’s talk about the players who are still subject to move.
P.A. Parenteau is arguably the biggest forward the Leafs still have on their roster. He’s had a good season for the Buds and has scored 16 goals and 32 points. Management is working on a deal for the former Habs forward, and it was reported that the Islanders were interested.
Isles are looking, but not interested in trading high picks or prospects for rentals. Parenteau seems more of a long-shot at this stage.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 29, 2016
The reported asking price for Parenteau was a second round pick. The Islanders are not willing to pay that much for a rental player, so talks have broken down. He is still expected to be traded today, where will be the only question. Brad Boyes and Michael Grabner are also names to keep an eye on as the Leafs continue to search for willing trade partners.
It’s an exciting and very stressful day for anyone associated with the National Hockey League. After the dust clears and the deadline is passed, everyone will see a much clearer pictures of where the Toronto Maple Leafs stand.