The NHL trade deadline has come and gone. Not only was it mostly inconsequential outside of the Mikkel Boedker trade or the Kris Russell trade, but the Toronto Maple Leafs were surprisingly absent from the trade deadline. Toronto had made a few trades leading up to the deadline by dealing Dion Phaneuf to the Ottawa Senators, Shawn Matthias to the Colorado Avalanche, James Reimer and Roman Polak in separate deals to the San José Sharks, and Daniel Winnik to the Washington Capitals. Despite all those deals leading up to the trade deadline the Toronto Maple Leafs still had a few UFA’s to try to trade; most notably P.A. Parenteau.
Heading into the trade deadline it seemed that Parenteau would be the player getting the most offers from other teams. Parenteau has put up 32 points in 60 games this season and only has a cap hit of $1.5 million before becoming a UFA in the summer. He seemed like the best rental option for teams looking to make a deep playoff run and for a while it seemed like Parenteau would once again be a New York Islander.
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
Unfortunately they couldn’t agree on what Toronto would get in return for Parenteau. This was incredibly disappointing as trading Parenteau looked to give the Toronto Maple Leafs the biggest return based on other comparable players that have been dealt. The Andrew Ladd deal gave the Maple Leafs a sense of what kind of return they could expect for Parenteau considering both players are going to become UFA’s in the summer and have had similar production this year with Ladd putting up 34 points in 59 games. Ladd had a higher cap hit of $4.4 million, which forced Winnipeg to retain some salary. Ultimately the Jets got a top prospect, a 1st round pick and a conditional 3rd round pick.
Islanders and Leafs going back-forth on P.A. Parenteau. Toronto wants a 2nd. Isles really want player but not ready to pay that price. Yet.
— gary lawless (@garylawless) February 29, 2016
If all Toronto was asking for was a 2nd round pick then that’s a pretty low asking price compared to the Ladd deal. It can be argued that the reason Winnipeg got so much in return for Ladd was because of his leadership qualities, but he may also be more than a rental for the Chicago Blackhawks if they can manage to make enough salary room to sign him. In the end comparing the Ladd deal to a potential Parenteau deal doesn’t matter when Toronto wasn’t even able to trade him for anything. The only positive to come out of this is that Toronto could re-sign Parenteau during the summer and keep him as part of the group moving forward.
Although Jared Cowen is neither a pending UFA or a sought after player, there was some speculation about a deal that could involve Cowen going to Chicago with Bryan Bickell and a draft pick going back to the Toronto Maple Leafs. This was all speculation, but it would’ve been a deal that would benefit both teams. Chicago would get rid of Bickell’s contract of $4 million for another year after this, and taking Cowen would benefit Chicago by buying him out in the summer which would give the team a cap credit. Cowen has a cap hit of $3.1 million for another year, which would give Chicago about a million dollars worth of extra cap space this season. And obviously Toronto would benefit from another draft pick to add to the mountain of picks they already have.
Jared Cowen has been told by the Leafs he should expect to be traded today.
— Damien Cox (@DamoSpin) February 29, 2016
Cowen was another player that couldn’t be dealt at the trade deadline. The speculated deal with Chicago might have fallen apart because Chicago wasn’t willing to give up the draft pick that Toronto wanted in return for taking Bickell’s contract. Regardless, Cowen will still be able to help Toronto with the cap credit aspect of his contract.
Lamoriello says they're shutting down Jared Cowen and will buy him out in the summer.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) February 29, 2016
Brad Boyes and Michael Grabner
The two forgotten UFA’s of Brad Boyes and Michael Grabner weren’t dealt either at the trade deadline. It’s not surprising that Grabner wasn’t traded when he only has 11 points in 58 games and has a cap hit of $3 million. Didn’t seem like the Maple Leafs could trade him even if they were giving him away.
Boyes has played well, but it seems like most people are unaware of him because of how little ice-time he’s gotten for most of the season. With 21 points in 48 games and a cap hit of only $700,000 it’s really strange that there weren’t any teams that wanted to add Boyes at the deadline. This season he has shown that he can produce really well as a depth player and with such a small cap hit most teams could afford to fit him in. Hopefully Toronto re-signs Boyes and gives him more of an opportunity next season.
It was a buyers market this year with lots of players not being dealt at the trade deadline, but it’s still disappointing that the Toronto Maple Leafs couldn’t trade Parenteau even when it looked like he would give Toronto the biggest return. We will see if any of these players even have a future with the team after this summer.
Toronto Maple Leafs contributor for The Hockey Writers.
I’ve been a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs since I was a kid and have always had an interest in writing. At The Hockey Writers, I get to enjoy both of my passions as well as writing about small convoluted details in player contracts and stats.