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Photo Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Maple Leafs acquire Tomas Plekanec in multi-player deal

Well, there’s the “buy” we were looking for.

Today, the Leafs acquired veteran centre Tomas Plekanec from their Montreal Canadiens, sending out Rinat Valiev, Kerby Rychel, and a second-round draft pick while also picking up Kyle Baun along the way. The trade was officially announced via the Leafs PR twitter account:

Instant reaction: In a jammed pipeline, neither Rychel nor Valiev had much future in Toronto. While they might have NHL upside, there’s no room for them to bump anyone out of the current lineup, and might get an opportunity to develop in Montreal. Either way, they’re not needle-pushers and without any real high ceiling on either prospect, this trade doesn’t really have potential to come back to bite the Leafs. The second-round pick see the Leafs lose an asset, but as they’ve got San Jose’s pick from uh, the Roman Polak trade a few years back, it’s not like they’re going to come out of the second round completely dry.

Meanwhile, Plekanec adds some depth to the Leafs’ fourth line and is an upgrade on Dominic Moore, who likely finds himself on the outs of the lineup from here on out. Plekanec, who’s been in the Habs organization since the 2001 draft, is a seven-time 20 goal scorer and has registered six goals and 18 assists while playing in the Canadiens’ bottom-six this season. A UFA this offseason, he’s taking up just $3 of his 6 million cap hit due to the fact Montreal is retaining 50% of his salary.

It’s hard to really see Baun as anything other than a contract swap. He’s played just five NHL games in his career at age 25, and his AHL numbers this year (16 points in 54 games) don’t exactly scream

Here’s the first look at Tomas in Toronto.

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  • getrdone

    I am not sure if he is an upgrade or not, but one thing I am kind of wondering about is: why does a fourth line center cost 2 mid range prospects and a 2nd round draft pick? It just appears that is a big price.

    • Skill2Envy

      Valiev wasn’t going to make the Leafs and requires waivers to be sent down. Rychel was hard pressed to make it next year as well and requires waivers. Better to get something instead if potentially losing them for nothing next year.

      Plankanec is much better than Moore, can play the PK and helps free up the Kadri line from some defensive matchups. I’m fine with the trade.

  • Jroc

    I’m fine with the deal. I think he cost a 2nd instead of a 3rd because of the salary retention. I think he’s more of a 3rd line center Than a 4th though so I’ve started to wonder if he’s to replace bozak and not Moore.