Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
March 05 2014 01:35PM
The Toronto Maple Leafs have made a big splash today, trading nobody to no team in particular for the rights to absolutely nothing. Nothing, a 0th round pick in the 0000 NHL Entry Draft, has been praised as a "no mistakes, sneaky" player, and while he offers no offensive presence, will never come back to haunt his team.
No, seriously. The deadline has passed, and the Leafs have made no trades.
That doesn't mean that the Leafs organization hasn't seen its share of transactions in the past couple of days. In an attempt to make room in case of a transaction today, the Leafs waived Frazer McLaren and Trevor Smith, shedding about $1.2 million in the process. Both cleared, and McLaren had his first practice with the Marlies today, playing with Brad Staubitz and Jerred Smithson.
Carter Ashton and Peter Holland headed up the other way, reporting to the Leafs this afternoon. No word on whether they plan on having them playing or not today against the New York Rangers, but this rotation could get reversed in the coming days.
As well, the Marlies put the wheels in motion on their scheduled goalie swap, calling up Christopher Gibson (and Dylan Yeo) from Orlando today. Garret Sparks will be assigned to the Solar Bears tomorrow in his place. Because of this scheduling, a rumour went around Twitter that Drew MacIntyre had been called up, which was debunked (by me).
There were rumours that he was being shopped around today, which turned into conversation that he was in North Carolina seeing a specialist about his ankle, which isn't recovering as fast as hoped. This is basically the opposite outcome, and doesn't sound good for the Leafs at all.
The Leafs haven't gotten any better. Or worse, really. But the rest of the division? The probably out of reach anyway Bruins added Andrej Meszaros. The Habs added Thomas Vanek, and could start to get out of reach if he works out. The Red Wings added David Legwand, and could start catching up. Same goes for the Ottawa Senators, who added Ales Hemsky. I don't see Roberto Luongo making enough of a difference yet in Florida, and the slightly ahead Tampa Bay Lightning downgraded with the St. Louis for Callahan trade. Overall, this is a stronger division, and the Leafs still need to be careful down the stretch.
They're going to need stellar goaltending, for the first line to stay hot, and for the defence to figure themselves out, if they want to ensure a second consecutive playoff appearance. A deep run with this team is probably out of the cards, but I figure most people expected that anyway.
I don't know if I'm all that disappointed with nothing happening. While I would've been happy with the Leafs going after a minute eating defenceman, I'm also good with management not making a panic move for the sake of making a statement. Everyone saw that happen once in July (*stares at David Clarkson*) and probably hopes that it won't happen again.
What Do You Think?
Are you happy the Leafs stayed quiet? Disappointed? Do the changes within the division worry you? Does this team stand a chance down the stretch? So many questions, that I'll summarize into one - How does this deadline make you feel? Leave a response below.