The Toronto Maple Leafs entered today with 24 players on their roster. Amid reports, unconfirmed by the AHL transactions list, that they’d “papered down” the waiver exempt Travis Dermott to get to 23 so William Nylander would fit on the roster, we now have news that it isn’t a waiving that’s going to sort this crowded roster out.
Josh Leivo traded to Vancouver.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 3, 2018
Josh Leivo has played 27 games with the Leafs this season, which is all of them to date. He has four goals and two assists, and has shown some admirable qualities in a depth role. After failing to crack the Leafs roster for several years running, and spending most of last year in the press box, he’s proved himself capable as a fourth-liner who can fill in on the power play.
In two prior seasons with the Leafs, he’s had one segment of very high personal shooting percentage and one of very high on-ice shooting percentage. As always with low minute, or occasional players, rating out their points stats can be a bit misleading as they carry more opportunities for variance to be having a big effect.
If you think that’s the case with Leivo, you might think he is just a depth player. If you think his real ability is conveyed in those numbers, you might think an opportunity to play higher in the lineup was in order. The Leafs don’t have the room for him, but perhaps Vancouver can discover who he really is as a player.
Leivo will finish this season as an RFA with arbitration rights. With his inflated for a depth player salary of $925,000 right now, he’s due a qualifying offer of $971,250. That’s not the sort of cap hit the Leafs want to see in their depth players next season.
Yesterday, the Canucks waived Brendan Leipsic, the player the Leafs chose to expose in the expansion draft over Leivo. It seems they agreed with the Lou Lamoriello’s decision. The Los Angeles Kings claimed Leipsic today.
TOR receives Michael Carcone— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 3, 2018
The return for Leivo is an AHLer with some limited scoring ability. He does not appear to be a centre, however, which is a position of weakness on the Marlies. He has 17 points in 20 games played for Utica this year.
TOR promised Leivo when signed that if he were to fall out of lineup with limited opportunity to get back in, they would move him to a more favourable situation. https://t.co/Z5Vuh7ho47— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) December 3, 2018
Leivo trade wasn’t long in the making from a Vancouver perspective. GM Jim Benning phoned Kyle Dubas this morning for the first time asking about Leivo and it got done rather quickly. Leivo should get a shot in the top 6 in Van. Could be a nice pickup— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 3, 2018