Tonight was the last Hockey Night in Canada broadcast before Wednesday’s trade deadline, so there’s no surprise the rumours were being tossed around plenty in the weekly Saturday Headlines segment with Friedman and Kypreos, two of Sportsnet’s “insiders” when it comes to this stuff.
There wasn’t much to be shared that hasn’t been before, but there is some news to pass along about the Leafs and how they might look to add depth before the deadline passes. According to Kypreos, it looks as though the lines are open with the Red Wings to potentially make that happen.
“Riley Sheahan has drawn some interest from the Toronto Maple Leafs…Maybe the fact that his stock is a little low, the Leafs can take advantage of that. Maybe even look like for a Red Wing alumni discount with Shanahan and Babcock, but that’s not going to be the case. He’s just 24-years-old. We know the market has been set a little bit with Patrick Eaves…but Sheahan is 24-years-old, so the feeling is, regardless of being goalless, that could cost you as much as a first rounder.”
There was also some hinting that the Leafs would have interest in Brendan Smith as well, but as Friedman went on to point out, the Wings seem keen on re-signing the pending free agent.
Going back to the Sheahan rumour, it does make sense from a hockey perspective as he would help shore up the bottom part of the lineup as a clear upgrade on Smith or Gauthier, and Babcock does have history with him. But that price of a first-rounder being floated out there is obviously absurd. I can’t see any way the Leafs consider moving out an asset like that for a depth option like Sheahan, even at a prime age. Something more reasonable could come together here though, since this isn’t the first we’ve heard of the Leafs and Sheahan being linked.
To date, Sheahan’s strongest full season was under Babcock in 2014-15, when he notched 36 points in 79 games. He was also 55.4 score-adjusted CorsiFor%, his best year from a shot-attempt standpoint. Currently he’s on a deal worth $2.07-million AAV that’ll expire in 2018, when he’ll be a restricted free agent.