The Leafs are making it pretty clear they don’t want any part of Jared Cowen. First, they activated him from the injured reserve, then immediately placed him on waivers. Today, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said that the Leafs are looking to shop their new acquisition to teams around the league, ideally before Monday’s deadline.
Hearing TOR has told Cowen it will try its best to trade him by deadline
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 27, 2016
The main reason he’s likely to be acquired by trade, rather than claimed on waivers, is because of the $3.1-million cap hit he carries this season. Cowen is most valuable to teams that are pressed up against the upper limit. The Leafs would almost certainly have to take back a salary – Bryan Bickell’s buried contract is a candidate because it currently counts $3.05 million against Chicago’s cap – in addition to getting an asset if there’s a deal made.
The options with Cowen likely depend if the Leafs can get a taker on him, though we’ll likely get a clearer picture in the next 48 hours what Cowen’s future will look like.