It’s going to be an interesting couple weeks for the Leafs going into the trade deadline on March 2nd. For the first time in a while, it genuinely feels like the team is in all-out sell mode, and with that will come a daily dose of speculation from a number of outlets.
We all have a good idea of who the Leafs will look to ship out in-season. Franson, Winnik, Santorelli and now even Bozak headline a group of the most-likely to go, and it appears the price for some of these guys is starting to surface.
— TSN 1050 Toronto (@TSN1050Radio) February 10, 2015
This price seems a little high. Of course, a lot depends on the prospect here, but I would’ve guessed the return for Franson to be a first rounder on its own, or a later pick with a prospect. A first and a prospect would be a great haul for a rental.
In the case of Santorelli, there should be a number of teams looking to add this type of “gritty” player for a playoff run. Larry Brooks of the New York Post thinks the Rangers could be one of them, and believes the Leafs’ asking price won’t be cheap for the cap-friendly forward:
Santorelli’s cap charge of $1.5 million is the perfect price for the Blueshirts, who appear to have approximately $1.25 million of space on hand that would compound to more than $2 million at the March 2 deadline.
But it is also the perfect price for numerous teams around the league seeking to shore up for the stretch run and the playoffs.
Which means, of course, the Leafs are in a seller’s market, more likely to stoke a relative bidding war than to move quickly … unless, of course, the needy Rangers are willing to meet Toronto’s asking price that is yet to be established but undoubtedly would involve either a reasonably high draft pick and/or an NHL-ready prospect.
Santorelli was a smart addition for the Leafs last summer, but it would have been hard to believe at the time that he’d have such a solid showing this season and command this much in a trade. Again, a top-sixty pick in this year’s draft or a later pick and prospect would be a good return for a Leafs team in rebuild.
For Winnik, the asking price is likely comparable to that of Santorelli, if not a little less.
Dreger says the Penguins are interested in Daniel Winnik. I can’t keep track of all these rumours.
— Justin Fisher (@thejustinfisher) February 11, 2015
Darren Dreger on NHL Net: “The Pgh Penguins continue to swirl around Daniel Winnik. Rutherford sees [him] as a nice add to his 3rd line”
— Ken Laird (@Ken_Laird) February 11, 2015
The Penguins will be pushing hard for a Cup run this year. It’s sort of weird to think they haven’t been to the Finals since their win in 2009. If they want to add a player like Winnik, they may have to fight off a few other teams – he’s also been linked to the Predators – which should drive the price up a little. Another top-sixty pick here would be nice.