The Maple Leafs were one of the many teams making deals on Sunday, one day before the NHL trade deadline. The question now is will they squeeze in another deal before today’s 3:00 p.m. ET cutoff? They certainly will have some salary cap space to do so, but it will require careful manoeuvring, and it’s still not clear how much they will have to spend.
First, here’s a quick recap of what happened yesterday, with links to our detailed analysis of each move.
Things got going in the early afternoon, with the Leafs signing Harri Säteri, a free agent goalie from Finland who was one of the many Europeans that abandoned playing in the Russian KHL over the past few weeks. He is most recently known for being on Finland’s gold medal winning Olympic team, but he does have some past NHL experience. This was quite a coup for the Leafs to get him, and on a league minimum salary contract too.
One goalie in was matched with one goalie (possibly) out. Peter Mrázek was placed on waivers, meaning he can be reassigned to the Marlies which frees up $1.125M in cap space. Kyle Clifford was also put on waivers and expected to be assigned to the Marlies as well, which opens up more space to use to bring in another player.
Note that placing Mrázek on waivers doesn’t mean he has to be moved to the Marlies, the Leafs can always choose to do nothing if they cannot get another trade deal going today. A possibility also exists for another NHL team to claim Mrázek outright, moving him off the Leafs books and opening up a whopping amount of cap space for a major deal. That seems unlikely, but late last night the chances increased when the Arizona Coyotes traded away their “#1b” goalie Scott Wedgewood to the Dallas Stars, bringing them down to only one goalie on their roster. They do have another available to call up from their AHL team in Tuscon, but they could have seen Mrázek available on waivers and decided to claim him from the Leafs; after all that’s exactly how the Coyotes got Wedgewood in the first place, by claiming him off waivers back in November from the New Jersey Devils.
Either way, none of this will be known with certainty until 2:00 p.m., which is the waiver claim deadline, and subsequently the first opportunity to assign players to the Marlies, so we will probably have to wait until then to see any moves the Leafs make be officially announced.
The big move on Sunday was the acquisition of Mark Giordano and Colin Blackwell from the Seattle Kraken in exchange for a collection of future years draft picks. This huge bet on Giordano will be a defining moment of the season for the team and GM Kyle Dubas as they head into a playoff run they desperately want to extend past the first round.
The Leafs held a press conference last night with the two new members of the team, and if you hadn’t heard all about it yet, Mark Giordano is famously born and raised in Toronto, and you’ll never guess what was his favourite NHL team back then when he was a kid.
The final move of Sunday was the departure of defenceman Travis Dermott to the Vancouver Canucks. Dermott has been in the Leafs organisation since they drafted him in 2015, start with the Marlies in 2016 and playing on the Leafs since 2018, but had fallen out of favour recently. With the development over the past year of prospects Timothy Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin into full time Maple Leafs players, Dermott was recently move to watch games from the press box. The arrival of Colin Blackwell in the earlier trade sealed the need to move one defenceman out by trade completely.
Other Teams’ Trades
Many NHL teams decided to get trades done yesterday, rather than wait until the last minute today. Here’s a selection of some big moves made by the other teams.
Nashville Predators acquire D Jeremy Lauzon for pick - On the Forecheck
The Seattle Kraken receive the Preds' second-round pick in the 2022 draft.
Minnesota Wild trade Jack McBain to Arizona Coyotes - Hockey Wilderness
The prospect was never singing for Minnesota, and is now in Arizona. [SPECIES: MCBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIN!]
Stars Trade For G Scott Wedgewood From Coyotes - Defending Big D
The move may call into question the health prospects of Braden Holtby.
Winnipeg Jets Acquire Mason Appleton for draft pick - Arctic Ice Hockey
Time to get the band back together? The Jets get back the player they lost to Seattle in the expansion draft.
Tampa Bay Lightning trade Mathieu Joseph to Ottawa Senators for Nick Paul - Raw Charge
Let this be a lesson - Julien BriseBois is never done. Even if he has limited resources and next to no room under the salary cap, he’ll find a way to make a deal.
Canucks trade Travis Hamonic to Ottawa Senators in Patrik Allvin’s first deal - Nucks Misconduct
The Senators sent back a third round pick which originally belonged to the Canucks.
The Leafs have a lot of prospects among the 16 teams which made it to the NCAA Division I tournament, including Matthew Knies at the University of Minnesota, Nick Abruzzesse at Harvard, and Veeti Miettinen who plays for St. Cloud State University, which is in Minnesota. The St. Cloud Huskies made it all the way to the final last year, but lost in the Championship game. Here is the tournament bracket.
If you are wondering about the women’s bracket, you’re too late! They started their tournament a week ago and Ohio State became NCAA Champions last night.
You may have heard about the goal review fiasco in the CCHA conference of the NCAA over the weekend, here’s a good summary of what happened.
CCHA Hands Out Championship, Overturns Goal, Resumes Play
The CCHA overturned the overtime game-winning goal 40 minutes after handing out the Mason Cup championship trophy.