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?