Leafs setting prices on trade pieces

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.

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. 

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. 

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  • STAN

    There are multiple issues here.

    First, let’s recall that Dave Nonis is in charge and his track record is spotty, at best.

    Second, B. Shanahan has shown no hint of nixxing Nonis moves.

    Three, I would actually applaud Nonis and allow him to fulfill the rest of his contract if he can rid MLSE of Clarkson, Phaneuf, Robidas AND Kessel, without paying any of the salaries to which they were inked… BY HIM ! The most impressive thing a sports executive can do is admit his mistakes and have the ability to correct them. That’s magic. Even his best buddy and mentor Brian Burke found away to turn a well-intentioned blunder (the signing of Francois Beauchemin) into Jake Gardiner and Joffrey Lupul.

    I Tweeted THIS early this morning and Mirtle retweeted – “@mirtle Shanny should be on the phone to AA (Vernon Wells) and Ujiri (Rudy Gay, Andrea Bargnani) to see how you move toxic contracts.”

    Of course he (Mirtle) might have been hallucinating because he was awake at 3-4am, his little, new bundle of joy deciding middle of the night was a great time to play. Congrats James!

    Four, if points one and two are true, do we really expect the Leafs to get the proper value for the assets they’ll move? Personally, I’m skeptical.

    It seems to me that Santorelli in particular is the kind of guy you keep around as an example to young guys. His work ethic and hockey IQ alone are worth it. Skates hard, loves possession, rarely just tosses the puck away and the result is pretty good goal and point production.

    Five, goaltending. Despite flashes of brilliance from Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer, neither seems quite capable of carrying a team when the D gets sloppy. Yes, both have had streaks of game stealing, but there have been too many soft goals.

    Perhaps Bibeau is a Carey Price in waiting. Who knows? I wouldn’t trust the Leafs scouting and executive staff to make that decision, given (again) their weak track records. (see Tyler Biggs)

    Six, the once-mighty Buffalo Sabres look to be loading up with a great, young core, thanks to a complete tear-down and accumulation of draft picks. Unless the Leafs get their act together and find a way to tear down this paper tiger in the next weeks and months, they can count on high draft picks for the next five years.

    • STAN

      1: Nonis is not in charge, Shanahan is.

      2: You do realize its not just Nonis? every move the team makes will be with Nonis, Shanahan, Dubas, Hunter and others agreeing before they make a deal.

      3: We can (and Should) trade Kessel and Phaneuf with ease, but should wait for the offseason when teams have created more cap space thus giving us more interest and a higher return. Clarkson & Robidas are not going anywhere anytime soon (unfortunately).

      4: They will get good value, and any value is better than nothing, We let Kulemin, Raymond, Bolland, MacCarthur ect. walk for nothing, and could have gotten something for them, but didn’t. This team has smartened up and will

      5: Our Defense is awful and hang them out to dry every night. They are both young, let them grow… And Bibeau will never be that good.

      The leafs have drafted total busts yes, but they have also hit home runs in later rounds (Reimer, gunnarson, komarov, ect.)

      6: This is actually a good point

      • STAN

        1. Last time I checked Trevor Linden wasn’t checking/approvingBrad Trelivng’s moves and until they take away Nonis’s title, I assume he gets to make player personnel moves.

        2. Of course I realize that most decent businesses are collaborative, but GMs always get the credit and take the blame. For example, who would have thought that Burkie didn’t consult all the executive buddies he hired?

        3. Trade Kessel and Phaneuf with ease… and not retain any salary, which goes straight against the cap? I don’t think so, especially in Phaneuf’s case. Kessel still has a ton of upside. Phaneuf doesn’t.

        4. I assume you think they’ll get good value because as Nonis takes all his proposed deals to Shanahan, the novice President will tell him “NO. Get more. Oh, that’s all they’ll offer? Give me the phone!!”. That’s laughable.

        5. If Bibeau is destined for mediocrity, as you state, the Leafs ought to package him this summer and move on. Y’know, like they did with Tukka Raask.

        6. Thanks.