Leafs win two big trades

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.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Leafs win two big trades

  1. Dave

    The Leafs’ cap situation got worse, not better. Stajan, White, Mayers, and Toskala are all free agents at the end of the year, whereas Phaneuf, Sjostrom, and Giggy are owed 14.25M next year. Only Blake and Hagman have money owed for 2010-2011 which is 7M.

    For 2011-2012, the Leafs will save 0.5M since Phaneuf’s 6.5 is offset by Hagman and Blake’s combined 7M final year each.

    Not to mention they now have an 8.3M 2nd D-pairing in Komisarek and Beauchemin, plus Finger floating around at 3.5M.

    This trade makes no sense based on how Toronto is currently configured. You have Kessel in desperate need of an playmaking centreman and you go get an overrated superstar to fill a position you just spent $35M on this past offseason.

  2. I think it improved tremendously. I’d take Phaneuf at $6 over what they gave up. Two of their d-men are free agents this summer (with at least another probably to be traded).

    Plus, they needed a top goalie. with them having two free agents this summer. They got that, and got rid of two albatrosses at the same time. They improved at their two most important positions. And if Giguire doesn’t work out, he’s only signed on for one more season.

    And they free up room for the young guys to make a roster spot next year.

  3. Dave

    What? None of Toronto’s D-men are free agents this summer and 4 of them are signed in 2011-2012 (none of whom are Kaberle).

    Giguire hasn’t been a top goalie in 3 years. How was Toskala an albatross, he’s UFA after this year and they are clearly out of it by now anyway.

    Plus you’re analyzing these moves in a vacuum, take the larger context of where they’re at globally. They traded a potential #1 overall pick and another 1st after that, plus a 2nd, for Kessel. So to help Kessel build an offense…you spend 30M on rigid slow-moving defensemen and put him with 11 AHL’ers up front?

    Not to mention this all depends on Phaneuf actually being remotely worth 6.5M for 4 more years, certainly no guarantees there.

    I applaud Burke for the guts to make big moves, but he’s only doing it to placate the masses of Leafs Nation and to save face for his offseason moves failing so poorly.

  4. “What? None of Toronto’s D-men are free agents this summer and 4 of them are signed in 2011-2012 (none of whom are Kaberle).”

    Sure there are. Mike Van Ryn (hasn’t played this year because of an injury, but is making $2.9 million) and Garnet Exelby (who is making $1.4 million) are both free agents.

    “How was Toskala an albatross?”

    His contract (even though he is a free agent this season, they couldn’t make any moves without clearing up the cap space). His stats (above 3 GAA and below .900 save percentage the past two seasons. His winning precentage (seven wins in 23 starts). The fact that the Leafs brought in Gerber last year and Gustavsson this year because Toskala isn’t reliable.

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