Leafs Add Voros

Jonathan Willis
February 16 2011 10:03AM

The Toronto Maple Leafs made another minor move on Tuesday that didn’t get much news thanks to the Kris Versteeg deal, shipping a conditional seventh round draft pick (read: basically nothing) to Anaheim in exchange for tough-guy forward and pending free agent Aaron Voros.

It’s an odd trade, for a couple of reasons.

I call it an odd trade because the Leafs made a bigger one with the Ducks just a week ago and given the almost non-existent cost of the deal one imagines they could have convinced the Ducks to throw in Voros then.

But even if the Leafs couldn’t convince Anaheim to toss Voros into that deal, it wouldn’t have mattered; the Ducks waived the big forward that week and the Leafs could have snagged him for the price of a waiver claim.

Worse, now that Voros has passed through waivers, the Leafs would have to bring him through re-entry waivers to bring him back to the NHL, and based on Brian Burke’s comments that seems unlikely:

“I would imagine at his salary, he would be attractive. But we’re trying to sort out what to do with him. He’s an energetic player with size who can skate, but I also think there is a good chance someone will grab him.”

The result of all this is that the Leafs are paying Voros the remainder of his $1,000,000 salary to play in the AHL because they can’t recall him to the big club. Voros becomes a free agent this summer, and the Leafs would now have to give up a late draft pick to sign him (confirmation on exactly what the “conditional” part of the deal was, courtesy James Mirtle) instead of the nothing they’d have to give up to sign him normally. Additionally, they could have avoided both of these minor problems by simply including him in the Beauchemin trade or by putting in a waiver claim. The cherry on top of this ice cream sundae of confusion is that Voros isn’t likely to be an impact player for the Marlies either; his NHL career as a role player echoes a preceding AHL career as a role player.

Am I missing something here? Is this the convoluted scheme of an entire hockey operations department that is simply too complicated for a lowly blogger to unravel, or did the Leafs handle this badly?

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Rexall Robots
February 16 2011, 10:31AM
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Welcome to Leaf Nation Willis! You will quickly come to appreciate what those who follow the Buds have to contend with on a daily basis.

Now what about this deal does not make sense? Burke traded not one, but two first round picks for Phil Kessel and then shipped out a young 50-60 point player for a low first rounder. How does trading for Voros when he could have had him for free not make sense?

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#2 CoryNewb
February 16 2011, 12:54PM
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Thank you for clearing up my confusion earlier this week. I thought that is basically what transpired, but couldn't get my head around it.

"Did the Leafs just pick up an AHL player...and the rest of a million dollar contract... for a draft pick....and he was on waivers....what the heck just happened?

Um, yeah. Makes perfect sense....right guys....right?!

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#3 Pension Plan Puppets
February 18 2011, 01:31AM
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Not too confusing. The Leafs need bodies on the Marlies because they have so many players on the big club and injuries to boot on the AHL side. It's the same reason they traded for Fabian Brunnstrom.

Waivers don't matter because they'll never get called up. And Rexall Robots, they did get Voros for free. The condition is based on him re-signing. It'll be similar to the Brad May deal in that the Leafs get a warm body for free.

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