Maple Leafs trade Daniel Winnik to the Penguins for multiple draft picks

The Toronto Maple Leafs have now cleared the decks of their high-profile rental players. Are bigger moves now in the offing?

On Wednesday, the Maple Leafs dealt useful depth forward Daniel Winnik – signed as an unrestricted free agent this summer – to the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

In return the Maple Leafs have reportedly added a second-round pick in 2016, a fourth-round pick in 2015, and farmhand forward Zach Sill, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun. The deal has now been officially confirmed by the club. 

Sill, 26, is an American Hockey League grinder and is presumably in the deal just because the Penguins needed to open a contract slot. The veteran minor leaguer hasn’t scored at a rate that suggests he’ll ever be useful really in the show.

The Maple Leafs have also reportedly retained half of Winnik’s salary in the trade:

That may cause some to roll their eyes, or even throw their hands up in frustration, but it’s just the cost doing business and maximizing your return. If Pittsburgh’s the team willing to part with a second-round pick (and more to), but they have cap concerns that make it tough for them to complete the deal, you may as well help them out – especially when you’re a club like the Maple Leafs, for whom money is no object. 

All things considered it’s not a huge return, but considering that the Leafs took a late-summer flier on Winnik by signing him to a one-year contract, this is like found money. In a season that’s gone all wrong, this is a tidy spot of asset management for Brendan Shanahan and the Maple Leafs. 

    • CMpuck

      This is the new deadline pick, Winnik’s value is driven in that he doesn’t carry cap weight. Worth more for being worthless, stupid communist cap.

      Bitter sweet, I love the return but don’t have high hopes to move a Lupul, Phaneuf or Bozak.

      Also of note this gives the Leafs two retained salaries between Gunnerson and Winnik so as far as I know they’re at there max for retaining salary in trades. This could save Nonis from himself on a bigger deal.

  • acg5151

    Kind of an amazing return to be honest, I figured he would get a third. A second round pick is incredibly useful to a rebuild as long as they get it right. He only has a one year contract so it’s not like retaining salary is going to kill the Leafs, the richest hockey team in the center of the universe. I think it’s a great trade, provided they pick someone with value.