Most of you will remember the Phil Kessel trade, when the Toronto Maple Leafs moved the star forward to the Pittsburgh Penguins as they began their trip into the land of rebuilding an NHL franchise. But aside from that deal, what other trades do you recall between these two franchises?
Heck, do you remember who the Maple Leafs acquired in Kessel deal? Along with answering that question, here’s a look at the five most recent deals made between the Maple Leafs and the Penguins over the last eight years.
Life Ain’t Fehr
Most recently, the Maple Leafs moved defenceman Frank Corrado after a tumultuous stint with the Leafs to the Penguins in exchange for Eric Fehr, Steven Oleksy and a fourth-round pick in 2017 on Mar. 1, 2017.
Corrado played just seven games for the Penguins over parts of two seasons with no points and a minus-two rating before signing with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies as a free agent on Oct. 22, 2018.
Fehr also only played five games for the Maple Leafs over two seasons and had no points and a minus-two rating. He joined the AHL’s San Diego Gulls and finished the 2017-18 season with the San Jose Sharks before joining the Minnesota Wild for the 2018-19 season.
Oleksy never played for the Maple Leafs and instead played 20 games with the Marlies, before he joined the Gulls for the last two seasons.
As for the pick, the Maple Leafs used the 124th overall selection in 2017 to take Vladislav Kara from the KHL’s Kazan Ak-Bars. He has just two assists in 27 games this season in Russia.
The Phil Kessel Trade
Prior to that deal, it was the Kessel trade that took place on July 1, 2015. The Maple Leafs moved Kessel, Tim Erixon, Tyler Biggs and a conditional second-round pick in 2016 and received Kasperi Kapanen, Scott Harrington, Nick Spaling and a conditional first-round pick in 2016 in return.
Kessel has obviously had the most success since the deal – tallying 93 goals and 249 points in 270 regular season games for the Penguins. On top of that, he’s had 54 points in 61 postseason games with the team, including back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017.
As for Erixon and Biggs, they’re a different story. Erixon hasn’t seen an NHL game since the trade manning the AHL for the past four seasons, while Biggs has jumped from the AHL to the ECHL and, most recently, played in the EIHL with the Nottingham Panthers.
As for the pick – with the Penguins clinching a 2016 playoff birth – the Penguins received Toronto’s second-round pick in 2016. A pick that originally belonged to the Penguins ended up back in their hands and they used the 61st overall selection to take Kasper Bjorkqvist who is currently playing at Providence College.
Related: Phil Kessel – Biography
As for the Maple Leafs, Spaling played 35 games for the Leafs with a goal and seven points before he was moved to the Sharks later that season. Harrington played 15 games for the Maple Leafs in 2015-16 with one assist, but he was also moved by the Maple Leafs during the 2016 offseason to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Kapanen has had an up-and-down start to his NHL career with the Maple Leafs, but is starting to come into his own. Before this season, he had 10 points in 55 games, adding another 18 so far this season in 26 games with the Maple Leafs. Overall he has 28 points in 81 regular season games with another three goals in 13 playoff games.
On top of that, the Maple Leafs earned a first-round pick in 2016, but that was used to acquire Frederik Andersen from the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks used the 30th overall pick to take Sam Steel in 2016.
In It To Winnik
Before the Kessel deal, the two clubs engaged in a trade on Feb. 25, 2015. The Maple Leafs acquired Zach Sill along with a fourth-round pick in 2015 and a second-round pick in 2016 in exchange for forward Daniel Winnik.
For the Leafs, Sill played 21 games while earning a single assist before signing with the Washington Capitals as a free agent the following year.
As for the picks, the Maple Leafs traded the 107th overall pick in 2015 to the Oilers for Martin Marincin, and the pick eventually landed in the hands of the Ottawa Senators. They used it to take Christian Wolanin. The second-round pick was eventually traded back to the Penguins in the Kessel deal where the Penguins used it to take Bjorkqvist 61st overall in 2016.
Winnik joined the Penguins and played 21 games for Pittsburgh, scoring two goals and nine points during the regular season. He re-signed in Toronto the following offseason and was traded again by the Maple Leafs later that year.
A Minor Deal
The Leafs and Penguins also made a deal back on Mar. 3, 2010, when the Maple Leafs acquired Chris Peluso in exchange for a sixth-round pick in 2010.
Peluso never made it to the NHL, playing most recently with Bemidji State University in 2009-10.
As for the pick, the Penguins used the 152nd overall pick to take Joe Rogalski in 2010. Rogalski never made the NHL either, playing with the Sarnia Sting and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL before a year at the University of Windsor and a year with the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors in 2012-13.
Finally, the fifth most recent deal between these two clubs came one day before the Peluso deal – on Mar. 2, 2010. The Maple Leafs acquired Luca Caputi and Martin Skoula in exchange for forward Alexei Ponikarovsky.
Ponikarovsky finished the year with the Penguins, playing 16 games and tallying two goals and nine points before he signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Kings following the season.
Caputi played 26 of his 35 career games with the Maple Leafs. He tallied a goal and six points over that span, but that was it for him as an NHL player. He was eventually traded to Anaheim and never saw any NHL action following that move.
As for Skoula, he was shipped out the following day to the New Jersey Devils where he played 19 games to finish the year and closed out his NHL career following that season.
Now, with the trades considered, was there any clear winners or losers? Be sure to have your say by leaving your thoughts in the comment section below, or tune in next time when we look at the five most recent deals between the Maple Leafs and San Jose Sharks.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.