The Toronto Maple Leafs weren’t waiting for the trade deadline. [picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=dion+phaneuf&iid=7709333″ src=”0/3/d/2/Calgary_Flames_v_761d.jpg?adImageId=9737526&imageId=7709333″ width=”234″ height=”156″ /]
While many of the teams in contention for the Stanley Cup are getting ready to pull the trigger on major trades, the Leafs beat them to the punch. They addressed several of their needs, and landed two major players.
The first deal saw the Leafs get Dion Phaneuf, Fredrik Sjostrom and Keith Aulie. In return, the Calgary Flames get Matt Stajan, Ian White, Jamal Mayers and Niklas Hagman.
This is a deal that happens to benefit both teams. The Leafs get a potential franchise defenceman, and the Flames get secondary scoring help. Stajan has 16 goals this year, and Hagman has 20 (and has also scored 20 or more goals for the last three years).
The second deal saw the Leafs send Vesa Toskala and Jason Blake for J.S. Giguere from the Anaheim Ducks. [picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=giguere&iid=7407600″ src=”b/4/2/f/Anaheim_Ducks_v_9ae3.jpg?adImageId=9737588&imageId=7407600″ width=”234″ height=”336″ /]
This was another good deal for Toronto. They give up on a goalie making $4 million a year that is so bad he lost the starting job to a 25-year-old rookie with a bad heart, and a forward that has 10 goals this year and making $4 million a year.
So in the end, the Leafs ended up with the best player in each trade.
As well, they shed about $15 million in salary total, and got $13.25 million back.
They now have some extra holes on their roster, which will be filled with young players next season, such as Nazem Kadri. They have a couple of extra defencemen now, but Mike Van Ryn and Garnet Exelby are free agents this summer. So is Alexei Ponikarovsky, Lee Stempniak, Wayne Primeau and John Mitchell. They’ll have plenty of cap space to go after big free agents, such as Ilya Kovalchuk or Patrick Marleau.
In the end, the Leafs won big time today. And they’re not even in the race for a playoff spot. Wonder what the general managers of those teams will be doing in the next few weeks.