Dreger Updates His Leafs Trade Board, and More Kessel Chatter

So. Much. Leafs. Trade. Talk.

Darren Dreger of TSN has updated his now infamous Leafs Trade Board, with Daniel Winnik being a slam dunk 100% to be dealt before the deadline. Korbinian Holzer follows at 85%, while Tyler Bozak and Joffrey Lupul both clock in at a 60% chance at being dealt. Roman Polak, who’s had his name circulate quite a bit through trade chatter lately, is only a 40%.

One those last three players, Dreger expands: 

“Bozak, Lupul and Polak… Dave Nonis and the Toronto Maple Leafs value those players now, and they will value them at the draft or in the summer.”

I suppose that means that, if not now, those players will still be available at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That makes some sense, as Bozak, Lupul and Polak all have more term and significantly more dollars attached to their contracts than the likes of Winnik and Holzer, two pending unrestricted free agents. In the offseason, when teams can go over the salary cap by as much as 10%, it will be easier to facilitate a move for more expensive players under contract.

Nazem Kadri and Jake Gardiner rated as 30% likely to be dealt is kind of interesting, as those are two players that could quite easily be a big part of your rebuild and post-rebuild teams. In this kind of situation, when a team is looking to dramatically overturn their roster, I suppose it makes some sense that Kadri and Gardiner would be available. That being said, the return better be significant if either of them are dealt. 

Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel are both less-than-likely to be dealt at the deadline, but only 50% chance that either of them are dealt in the offseason? I thought that would have been higher.

The most interesting part of this chart though has to be James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier, who have a 20% and 30% chance of being dealt at either the deadline or in the offseason. That pretty much tells you exactly how the Leafs feel about their goaltending situation… they don’t know who their future #1 is.

More On Kessel

Following the updating of his Trade Board, Dreger went on to expand on Kessel trade talk. Reportedly, the asking price will be a first round pick, a top prospect, and a young roster player. You know, the standard “Elite Talent” trade combo.

That being said, Dreger warns that if the Leafs are looking for that significant a package, they will need to entertain the idea of footing some of Kessel’s contract. This seems insane to me, in that Kessel is worth every single penny he’s worth, but it’s also important to understand that Kessel will more than likely be coveted by contending teams. And those guys generally don’t have $8M in cap space. Still, I’d do everything I can to not retain salary on a Kessel deal – it’d make much more sense for the Leafs to ask for that first round pick, top prospect, young roster player, and a salary dump. 

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    • The Craig

      My thoughts exactly. There’s no way this actually reliable/sourced information. Just outside opinion, maybe some “team x asked about…” being converted into +10%…

    • STAN

      Personally I’ve never been a fan of Dreger nor his ability to predict anything, including the weather.

      Just listen to him prattle on with words such as ‘several’ or ‘some’ GMs, or phrases such as “it’s generally felt”, whatever that’s supposed to mean.

      Doling out percentile chances that players will be traded is ridiculous. Let’s say Polak is moved and yet Dreger’s brilliant estimate was 40%, he can still say he was right or defend it bny saying “I knew there was a pretty good chance.” Duh.

      A player is either traded or he stays.

      While I’m on this, I also love the way Dreger burns up his 30-40 second segments by referring to GMs as General Managers and describes teams by their full names.That’s great if you’re paid by the word and syllable, but its a time waster in broadcasting.


  • The Craig

    Agreed. I don’t see the urgency on the part of the leafs for anybody who’s not a UFA at years end. All about asset maximization at this point. Not dumping guys for the sake of dumping guys some fans seem to be clamouring for. Waiting until the lottery balls finish bouncing may not be a bad idea either. Could change the trade landscape significantly.

  • The Craig

    Has this ever been done for a team leading up to the deadline? It seems insanely excessive. I say this as a huge leaf fan …the media needs to shut up about it. I guess they are just trying to milk it as much as they can seeing as after the deadline there are essentially no storylines around the leafs any more.

  • The Craig

    I guess all this talk about teams just not wanting Kessel may be more true than you boys would like to admit. I assume nhl gms know a lot more about his attitude and laziness etc than we do.