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FTB: The trade deadline that ended an era

Change was in the air and some well known Leafs said goodbye.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

Good morning Toronto Maple Leafs fans!

We are weeks away from the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline and I was wondering what the last big deadline was for the Maple Leafs, and duh, it’s the one that ended an era.

The Maple Leafs were looking to draft Auston Matthews in 2016 to complete the rebuild. They had William Nylander and Mitch Marner, but you need a franchise centre to cap it all off.

Brendan Shanahan, Lou Lamoriello, and Kyle Dubas and others were working to put their stamp on the Maple Leafs, and this deadline was their chance to end the Brian Burke/Dave Nonis era once and for all. It was a series of moves, some big, some small, but it was a clear signal that things were going to change.

February 9th, 2016 - The Phaneuf Trade

In a move that came out of nowhere - Bob MacKenzie only tweeted about it’s possibility moments before it happened - Maple Leafs captain, owner of an impossible to trade contract, was sent to the Ottawa Senators along with Matt Frattin, Casey Bailey, Ryan Rupert, and Cody Donaghey in exchange for Jared Cowen, Colin Greening, Milan Michalek, Tobias Lindberg, and a 2017 2nd round pick (Eemeli Rasanen).

The return was a big old pile of nothing, but the goal was to move the contract without salary retention, and they did it.

February 21, 2016 - Get a pick

This one was a small move, The Leafs sent Shawn Matthias to the Colorado Avalanche for Colin Smith and a 2016 4th (Keaton Middleton). When you’re rebuilding you need picks. Fun ending, Keaton Middleton is now playing in the Avalanche system. Time is a circle.

February 22nd, 2016 - Give a vet a chance

Elder Millennial Roman Polak was a good veteran presence for the Leafs, but the team wasn’t going anywhere, and they wanted to reward him for his service.

He would be traded to the San Jose Sharks along with Nick Spaling for the contract of the super suspended Raffi Torres, a 2017 2nd (traded to Anaheim, Maxime Comtois), and a 2018 2nd (Sean Durzi).

February 27th, 2016 - Another reward

The Leafs weren’t done with the Sharks; days later they would trade James Reimer and Jeremy Morin there for Alex Stalock and Ben Smith. Amazing they got more for Roman Polak.

The reward trades would pay off as the San Jose Sharks would make it to the Stanley Cup Final, but lose to the Pittsburgh Penguins - who had Phil Kessel, acquired in the trade that kicked off the rebuild that summer.

February 28th, 2016 - The required Winnik trade

The Leafs only move on the actual trade deadline, they sent Daniel Winnik and a 2016 5th (Beck Malenstyn) to the Washington Capitals for Brooks Laich and Connor Carrick and a 2016 2nd (Carl Grundstrom). This trade was more about clearing cap space for the Capitals, but was the second deadline in a row the Leafs would trade Daniel Winnik.

This was the Leafs final trade until July 8th, 2016 when they would acquire goaltender Frederik Andersen, declaring the rebuild over.

And it worked! Kinda.

So, thats the last big deadline for the Maple Leafs. I don’t think this years will be more exciting, but they never are when you’re a contender.

Here is some other things we found online for you to talk about:

Quick, name all the other brothers who played together. I think there were two named Richard once?

Not a great highlight for Ty Voit:

The Ottawa PWHPA event ended with Harvey’s (Montreal) beating Sonnett (Toronto) 2-1 in the first place game.

Next weekend they all head to Washington.

That’s all I have for you on this late morning FTB.

Enjoy your day everyone!