Last we heard the Maple Leafs were selling pretty much everybody, but hadn’t quite put the stickers on their inventory of tradeable assets.
Well moves, or at least very serious offers, may coming soon, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.
Dreger addressed what general manager Dave Nonis is up to in Nashville, and shed some light on what we might expect to happen with Toronto’s three key pending unrestricted free agents Cody Franson, Daniel Winnik, and Mike Santorelli during an Insider Trading segment on TSN Thursday night.
David Nonis the general manager, and David Poile the general manager of the Nashville Predators (are) meeting in Nashville. You know they’re talking about Cody Franson, maybe they’re talking about Daniel Winnik, and perhaps Mike Santorelli as well.
There’s been a tonne of interest in those three players specifically over the last number of days and the expectation is that the offers on Franson, Winnik and Santorelli – to name a few – are coming within days.
So it would seem that Toronto’s bigger ticket items, your Joffrey Lupuls, your Tyler Bozaks, and maybe even your Phil Kessels, are on the back burner at the moment.
Which is sensible. If a team – be it the Nashville Predators, or the Vancouver Canucks, or the New York Rangers – is willing to do their shopping early and set the market with a sufficient offer for one of Toronto’s pure rentals, the Maple Leafs may as well take advantage.
In Santorelli and Winnik the Maple Leafs are holding on to a couple of very desirable and versatile depth forwards, both of whom are signed to cheap contracts. Considering how both were acquired for nothing but money this summer, this is a real opportunity for the Maple Leafs to complete a tidy bit of business.
Franson is a different beast, since the Maple Leafs probably could’ve had him signed to a deal at a similar rate to the contract they reportedly offered him (and he rejected) recently at any point over the past two offseasons. Their bed has been made on this front for a while though, and the club really can’t afford to add another major contract to this already expensive and very limited core anyway.
It’s unfortunate because if the club had managed Franson a bit more prudently as an asset, they may have retained a very useful offensive defenseman long-term, and at a reasonable clip. At this point though, cutting their losses makes a good deal of sense.
Now they just have to hope that they can sell Franson for better than a second-round draft pick.