Did you forget that Petter Granberg was actually on the Toronto Maple Leafs roster? Yeah, so did a lot of people.
Granberg has been out with an Achilles injury since the offseason and hasn’t appeared in any games for the Leafs or Marlies yet this season. And as the 6’3, 201lb defender was technically a Leaf to begin the season, he needed to clear waivers in order to suit up for the Marlies.
Well, that didn’t happen. A claim was made and the Leafs have lost Granberg to the Nashville Predators.
There are two ways of looking at this – the first being that this is not good asset management. Granberg, 23, was a fourth-round pick of the Leafs back in 2010, and picked up a number of accolades while playing for Skelleftea in the SHL and for Sweden at the World Championships before coming to North America and joining the Marlies in 2013.
In his two seasons in Toronto, Granberg established himself as a top-pairing defender on a couple of solid Marlies teams while playing primarily alongside Stuart Percy and T.J. Brennan. Granberg also worked his way into eight games with the Leafs over the past two seasons and was expected to be a strong candidate to crack the team this year. Losing a player like that for nothing stings just a little bit.
On the other hand, Granberg held little value. His resume is nice and all, but Granberg is a bit of a throwback defender. Big, strong and defensive-minded, Granberg is not the fleet-footed puck mover that excels in today’s NHL, and didn’t look particularly strong in any of his appearances for the Leafs. Plus, the recent arrivals of Scott Harrington and Frank Corrado made Granberg even less likely to nail down a full-time NHL gig.
Granberg wasn’t a tremendously valuable asset by any means, but you don’t want to lose young players like that for nothing, either. It would not have been out of the realm of possibility to move him for a late-round draft pick, but Toronto found itself in a tough roster situation where they had little flexibility and no time to find a deal. It really comes down to whether you prefer greater roster flexibility or Petter Granberg, and when you look at it that way, Toronto probably broke even.