Peter Holland to be traded in near future, will sit out road trip

Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY SPORTS

A peculiar turn of events has gone down with the Toronto Maple Leafs today, as forward Peter Holland has been left behind for this week’s west coast road trip, while his agent tries to figure out what exactly is going on with his place on the team.

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The whole situation is rather weird, given that Holland has played just eight of Toronto’s 21 games this season, including only two in November and none with over ten minutes of ice time since October 19th. On November 22nd, TSN insider Darren Dreger mentioned that the Leafs had placed Holland on the trade market as a result of his in-and-out status in the lineup.

I had this to say regarding the speculation the following day:

I’m not overly sold that Holland will drive much value on the market as a result. The Leafs waived him with clearance in the summer, though the fact that it was an arbitration tactic with a hearing just days away probably scared a team that would’ve been interested away. But the fact that he’s barely played, and that he was a once-rated player who now can’t make it on a struggling fourth line can’t be that appealing to the other 29 franchises.

As I pointed out in the same post, Holland’s disappearance coincides with his performance on October 20th against the Minnesota Wild, where he went 1-for-10 in the faceoff dot. The Leafs quickly claimed Ben Smith off of waivers afterwards, and despite weaker offensive production and worse shot-based possession statistics in just about every regard, he’s been favoured over Holland and others, like the later waived (and claimed) Seth Griffith.

The situation has led many to be frustrated, believing that management and coaching staff are overvaluing parts of the game that are romanticized but have little tangible effect rather than playing the players most capable of outscoring their opponents.

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For fans and writers, that doesn’t mean a ton outside of some interesting debates, but in Holland’s case, his livelihood lies in the balance here. As a 25-year-old with restricted status this season, Holland doesn’t have a clear path to free agency and even if he did, a lack of ice time diminishes his chances of a team being interested in him. So it’s of little surprise to see Joe Resnick step in to help his client out, likely to ask for one of three doors to be opened; one of increased usage, one of a trade, or one of a waiver placement.

At the end of the day, Holland needs to play hockey to ensure that he has a career at the end of the season, and despite his local roots, the situation is beginning to hit the point where I doubt that he cares too much whether or not that hockey is played with the Leafs. For now, though, he won’t be available for selection against Edmonton, Calgary, or Vancouver.

UPDATE: From Dreger, Resnik has stated that the Leafs will indeed try to trade his client.

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  • The Russian Rocket

    He’s a good guy but he hasn’t made much of his chances since being acquired from Anaheim. Unfortunately he’s made it clear that despite having a lot of good ingredients, his upside is limited and easily replaced.

    Hopefully he can be traded and get something in return, either as part of a package or straight up for a mid-round draft pick.

  • DukesRocks

    Jeff can’t the Leafs just waive Holland and slot in Leivo? My main concern is not Holland but Nylander and who he gets to play with on the 4 line. Would it not make more sense to move Nylander to centre on the 4th line with Leivo and Martin? Nylander on the 4th line might be temporary but I would take this opportunity to get him experience at centre with a possibility of a Bozak trade.

      • HockeyKeeperKit

        Is Holland waiver eligible? CapFriendly doesn’t say so. Or did his earlier season waiver move during his arbitration nullify that? I’d rather not lose him for free is all. Even a 7th rounder would be worth it at this point. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think he is worth more, of course. He’s a player who could walk in and contribute to an NHL team.

        Regardless, this might be a similar thing to what Polak and agent pulled off last season. As we remember, Lou had worked an agreement out so that Polak went to a competitor. In this case (since Holland has relatively less pull), Holland may have worked out an agreement with Lou so he’d get sent team that would simply play him. He’s not getting played on a team that is only getting better so both parties (team and Holland) know he is done.

        On a final note, and not to beat a dead horse, but I wonder how much this impacts Corrado. Corrado is very much in the same situation if not considerably less utilized (8 GP versus 1 GP as a reminder). I’m surprised Corrado’s agent has made a similar agreement with Lou. Maybe because he is younger, Corrado might not have a card at all to play and Lou and Co. are just waiting to use him as an injury replacement or something. I don’t really know, but all this smells of something bigger.

  • BarelyComments

    What I don’t fully understand (maybe someone can help me with this), is why is this such a problem with the Leafs? Is it the quality of player we are scratching? Is it their age? Is it the media blowing things up for the sake of it? It seems to me as though someone always has to be the 13th forward or the 7th defensemen. NHL rosters have 23 spots and only 20 of them dress for any given game sooo….. Why don’t we hear about the poor Carolina or even Boston player who doesn’t get to play because he’s the 13th forward? Seems like it would be a league wide problem but somehow Holland and Corrado are blown up as if they are some kind of anomaly around the league!

  • LukeDaDrifter

    There is nothing complicated here. A center that can’t win faceoffs at the NHL level must move to the wing. Then he has to be better than one of the other eight wingers. If you consider only the fourth line, he has to outplay Martin, or Sosh. He has nowhere near the speed of those two guys.

      • LukeDaDrifter

        Holland does have some talent. Babcock realizes that. I feel it is his average NHL speed that is holding him back now and in the future. One thing I noticed about this rebuild, almost everyone the Leafs drafted or acquired has above average speed. Just look at that last game against the Caps. I know they had played the night before, but hey couldn’t cope with the speed of the Leafs. Our prospect pool is loaded with guys with great wheels. Leivo can skate and will be getting some ice time shortly.