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Exclusive: Leafs, Coyotes to make Lupul trade in offseason

The Leafs have been working with Arizona to make a deal to trade two albatross cap hits before the NHL Draft.

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Reports from exclusive PPP sources in Toronto and Arizona speculate that the two sides are working out a deal in the offseason that would see them trade major cap hits.

Rumours have stipulated the Maple Leafs have long considered trading Joffrey Lupul. The injury-prone forward is set to make $5.25 million per year through 2018. His offensive production has been a disappointment this season, putting up just 14 points in 46 games.

The Leafs, however, have found an interested trade partner in the Arizona Coyotes. Speculation out of PPP's longtime source in Glendale is that GM Don Maloney would like a veteran forward with an offensive upside to provide scoring depth and mentor the young core consisting of Anthony Duclair and Max Domi.

The rumoured return to Toronto is the contract of Hall-of-Fame defenseman Chris Pronger. The Coyotes hold his rights, including a $4.9 million AAV contract, until 2017.

"A Lupul-for-Pronger trade is a deal that just makes too much sense for both sides," said the Glendale source. "I'm actually kind of amazed no one has thought to do this before."

"You gotta think that the Leafs want Pronger," said a Toronto source. "He really fits a major need with the Leafs: using his power in the NHL to get the officials to actually call some penalties against Nazem Kadri."

Friends close to Lupul tell us that he would welcome a change of scenery, particularly to the Coyotes.

"Joffrey has indicated to us he'd look forward to going to a team with a bright future, and nice mix of young players and vets," said one friend.

"He's looking forward to moving somewhere where his hips and back are comparatively considered 'in good shape.'"

PPP did attempt to contact Pronger, by phone, but the ensuing call consisted of heavy breathing and knuckles cracking.