Earlier today, I urged the Leafs to start making trades and set the market. This isn’t exactly what I meant, but hey, I’m glad Toronto’s front office reads The Leafs Nation.
Toronto has traded Carter Ashton, 23, and David Broll, 22, to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a conditional 7th round pick in 2016.
A conditional pick… Why you ask? Well, this is a move that has nothing to do with the outgoing players or the return. It has everything to do with contract flexibility and cap space.
With the trade, the Leafs now sit at 48 contracts out of a maximum 50. That’s insanely important as we inch closer to the trade deadline, and will allow the Leafs to accept two-for-one deals that involve players on SPCs. In addition, the Leafs save $851K against the cap on Ashton’s deal, and $591K on Broll’s.
The conditional seventh round pick? I’d actually be pretty surprised if it’s ever converted. It might have something to do with Tampa’s ability to resign Ashton, who is an RFA this offseason.
UPDATE: Here’s Chris Johnston with an update on what the condition is… Yup, still think it won’t be converted.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 7, 2015
Ashton, who recently returned from a PED-related suspension, was ranked by TLN writers as the 15th best prospect in the organization. Broll was mentioned in our Honourable Mentions as he failed to crack the Top 20. Both have had limited exposure to the NHL, but neither did enough to stick around full time.
At best, they were depth pieces to the Leafs. Not to sound harsh, but I’ll take the extra million in cap space and roster flexibility. In fact, this could mean that another deal is on the way.