3 Maple Leafs Surprisingly Not Moved at 2022 Trade Deadline

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager (GM) Kyle Dubas was a busy man leading up to the trade deadline. The Maple Leafs were reportedly involved in several trade conversations and had a number of different targets as Dubas tried to upgrade the roster. While he managed to add Colin Blackwell and Mark Giordano from the Seattle Kraken, there were some surprising names that weren’t traded out of Toronto. Here’s a look at a few Maple Leafs who weren’t moved before the deadline:

Petr Mrazek

It was obvious the Maple Leafs were trying to move goaltender Petr Mrazek in any way possible to rid themselves of two more years at $3.8 million against the cap. It’s a classic free-agent mistake that Dubas had to admit he made by being open to waiving the veteran netminder and his .884 save percentage. Despite that tough decision and the conversation that came with it, the drama wasn’t finished.

Rasmus Dahlin Buffalo Sabres Heritage Classic
Rasmus Dahlin of the Buffalo Sabres gets a chance on Petr Mrazek of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2022 Tim Hortons Heritage Classic (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

Dubas also pointed the finger at Blackhawks’ GM Kyle Davidson after he was shocked to learn that the details of his negotiations with the club were made public. Mrazek was a part of the trade talks that would have landed Marc-Andre Fleury and Brandon Hagel from the Blackhawks, but in the end, he wasn’t traded or claimed off waivers from another team. Perhaps Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland didn’t see the email?

The Maple Leafs have some salary cap constraints, to say the least, and this offseason could lead to some big changes. Goaltender Jack Campbell is due for a new contract, along with Ilya Mikheyev, Ilya Lyubushkin, Rasmus Sandin, Timothy Liljegren, and the newly-acquired duo of Giordano and Blackwell. With very limited cap space to work with and lots of business to attend to, expect to see the Mrazek trade rumors pick up again this summer as Dubas will be in tough to move the veteran tender.

Justin Holl

When the Maple Leafs made a trade earlier in the season to acquire Lyubushkin from the Arizona Coyotes, some felt it was the beginning of the end for Justin Holl. Turns out that wasn’t the case at all, and the right-handed defenseman stayed with the team through the trade deadline.

Justin Holl Toronto Maple Leafs
Justin Holl, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The team has been open to moving Holl and the recently-traded Travis Dermott all season as rumors started flowing last November. Considering the return on some of these trades involving defensive defenseman, it’s shocking to see Holl’s name remain in blue and white, but here we are.

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I’ve admittedly been hard on Holl, however, he’s performed much better of late and once everyone is healthy, could find himself perfectly situated on the team’s bottom pairing. What happens after this season is anyone’s guess at this point, as he’s signed through 2022-23 at $2 million. While that contract doesn’t sound like a whole lot, Dubas would likely prefer to insert someone on an entry-level or league-minimum deal in his place. Surprisingly, Holl holds a no-trade clause that protects him from 10 teams of his choice. Perhaps that got in the way of a trade before the deadline. Look for management to explore some more trade options this offseason.

Nick Robertson

First off, I love Nick Robertson, and I think he could have a bright future in the NHL. I am, however, surprised that Dubas didn’t go all in to acquire another top-four defenseman or second-line left-winger, a trade that would have resulted in a Robertson-based package leaving Toronto.

Nick Robertson Toronto Maple Leafs
Nick Robertson, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

Toronto had reportedly been in touch with the Vancouver Canucks regarding J.T Miller and Conor Garland and the Dallas Stars regarding John Klingberg and Braden Holtby. However, nothing materialized on these fronts. Robertson is still only 20 years old, and even though he’s only scored one goal in nine games this season, the team is tremendously high on the former second-round pick. It’s doubtful he will find a ‘home’ on the NHL roster this season and is likely to bounce around if he does end up getting called up again at some point in 2021-22. Next season though, expect to see Robertson given a more prominent role within Toronto’s middle-six forward group.

The Maple Leafs had themselves a very productive trade deadline. Dubas and company were able to acquire a former Norris Trophy-winning defenseman with a boatload of experience, along with a checking forward who has some offensive upside. Giordano and Blackwell are going to help the team and should have a serious impact down the stretch. As for Mrazek, Holl and Robertson, they are now ready to put the trade rumors behind them and try to cement their place on the roster as the Maple Leafs gear up for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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