The week started off pretty busy. Actually the month started
off pretty great too. If you told me the deadline would see the Leafs dump
Phaneuf, Polak, Spaling, and Matthias, I would have been pretty impressed with
Unfortunately the Leafs did all that stuff pretty early in
the game, and now that they have to deal with the fact that I still have
expectations for certain players to be departing by Monday. With Lou saying he
doesn’t like to wait until the last minute, most of my expectations are around
the next couple of days.
While sadly not everyone can be traded, there’s still hope
for a lot players departing, at the very least the unrestricted free agents.
Here’s a quick look at the players who are still here but ideally won’t be come
game time on Monday night.
Pretty much the moment the Leafs signed Parenteau to his
contract it was a given that this weekend would be his most important one as a
Leaf. P.A. has been anything but a disappointment to the Leafs putting up 16
goals and 16 assists and marketing himself as an easy fit for a playoff bound
second power play unit.
Parenteau is the kind of affordable depth scoring that is
nice to have going into multiple overtime games. Keep him buried in lineup
during regulation and then enjoy having a fresh set of legs for the extra
Most recently Bob
McKenzie connected Parenteau to the Islanders, a team that P.A. is familiar
with. Most outlets are saying that a 3rd round pick is the likely
return for Parenteau, but with the Leafs willingness to take back contracts,
and the lack of scoring options available that can fit in with a cap crunched
team, it’s very likely that the Leafs get a second in the deal, especially if
they are willing to wait until the 2017 draft.
Boyes is the similar, but cheaper gamble to Parenteau. Boyes
was never given the top six or power play opportunities that Parenteau was, but
he’s made the most of his limited 5v5 ice time collecting 20 points in 47
games. Those numbers look a lot better in p/60 form, where Boyes sits at 1.88
and is the team best excluding recent callups Leivo and Leipsic.
At $700k this year, you can’t call up someone from the AHL
for less than Boyes and that’s got to make him an appealing option. Most rival
GMs aren’t going to care too much about Brad’s P/60, instead they’ll be
focusing on how he hasn’t been a trusted option for Babcock this season and
that’s likely going to drive the price down.
Like all Leafs, Boyes can see his price increase based on
what the Leafs are willing to take back, and if other rental forward options
like Parenteau, Purcell, etc. fall early, the Leafs might be able to take
advantage of a more competitive market for Boyes.
As far as expiring UFA rentals go, Grabner’s easily the
furthest down the list for being an easy trade option. On the plus side, Grabner
inherited that position because somehow Nick Spaling was moved. Now that we’re
late in the game and the Leafs still have the opportunity to retain some
salary, it’s entirely possible to stop looking at it as moving Grabner with a
$3M cap hit, it’s very likely that he’s moving with a $1.5M hit.
Grabner’s underwhelming year still acts as a pretty big
barrier in any move. Only putting up 11 points isn’t great and not having the
underlying numbers to justify it either might keep Grabner a Leaf. His saving
grace is probably the fact that he has been a victim of defensive zone starts,
and there’s bound to be a team that would love to add a speedy penalty kill
If no one is looking to take a chance on Grabner, he’s a
perfectly acceptable option for helping run out the clock on this season.
Reimer has easily been the Leafs best goaltender this
He’s easily been the Leafs best goaltender since the 2005 lockout.
James Reimer is an incredibly likeable person to go along
with the fact that he’s had some years in Toronto, but that doesn’t change the
fact that Reimer has struggled with injuries, has had some bad stretches, and
is looking for a longer contract than the Leafs should consider giving him.
Everything about James Reimer’s situation says it’s not going to be resolved
until July 1st and he’s had a chance to test the market.
In the meantime, there’s still a quarter of a season left,
and sixteen teams want to rest their number one down the stretch, or in the
case of Dallas, San Jose, or Nashville, acquire a number one goaltender.
Since the goaltender trade market isn’t particularly strong,
it’s really about taking what you can get for Reimer. It’s about remembering
that you may still have a chance to sign him this summer, and there are
benefits to losing more games, which there’s a higher probability of if he’s
We’ll skip Raffi Torres on this list of other UFA rentals,
and look at Arcobello, Brennan, and Clune.
Clune really should be lumped in with Torres as a player who
simply won’t be moved. He’s a good personality and should help make the last
month and half more tolerable for the remaining Leafs. If he does get moved,
someone is looking for character and grit and is willing to pay a 7th
round pick to get it.
T.J. Brennan own the AHL, but can’t crack the lineup of one
of the worst teams in the NHL. It’s not the first time this has happened,
Alexandre Giroux has shown that being an AHL legend is a very real thing, but
if there are teams desperate for a PP QB or depth defenseman, Brennan could be
a target and a bring in a very small return for the Leafs.
Arcobello’s situation isn’t all that different from
Brennan’s, it’s just he’s managed to crack NHL lineups more frequently, and has
a bit more staying power. He’s not a bad utility option for a playoff team, but
he’s even further down on lists than Boyes and Grabner. In the 11th
hour, he’s quite possibility that disappointing final trade of the day that
gets announced an hour and half after the deadline has closed.
Previous Deadline Week Posts: