It was announced tonight on Hockey Night in Canada’s segment Saturday Night Headlines that Josh Leivo has, as the title states, requested a trade. Nick Kypreos broke the news, and while his analysis is usually questionable, when he shares insider information like this it’s usually reliable.
Leivo has only played 12 games for the Maple Leafs this season, and 25 over the last two seasons. When he signed a contract extension in November of last year, despite being on a stretch of not playing for several games, many assumed that he was happy with the arrangement. There was also speculation that perhaps he had assurances that next year would be different. Clearly that was not the case, and expected to play more this year.
With 13 points in 25 games, a 42-point pace, Leivo has shown in small bursts that he can be a depth NHL scoring threat. What a team is willing to pay for that remains to be seen.
Most teams in the league assign a certain value to contract slots, and will not be willing to take on a marginal NHL player like Leivo without sending a contract back. However, it would certainly be nice for the Leafs to only bring back draft picks in this trade, as they are currently at the 50 pro contract maximum and could use some breathing room.
Likely, we are looking at something similar to the Leafs dealing Richard Panik to the Blackhawks for Jeremy Morin, or perhaps more like the Calvin Pickard trade where one team (in that instance it was Vegas) sends a draft pick to make up for a difference in player value.
This is certainly an interesting development and one to keep an eye on as the trade deadline creeps nearer.