So one of the deals that didn’t get made was this…
Ok Gretzky tried to get a F like Connor Brown but couldn’t swing it. So no trades today
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) February 25, 2019
First off, we’ll make specific note of the word “like” and appreciate the fact that Matheson was floating the idea of Brown for Kassian in his speculation earlier. We don’t know if these teams actually discussed the idea of Connor Brown, we just know that Jim Matheson was kicking around Brown’s name today and Matheson has no problem carrying water for the Oilers.
Now let’s reflect on whether or not this would have been a good or bad idea.
Well, for Kassian it probably would be a bad idea, as he’s a downgrade from Brown and doesn’t significantly help the Leafs cap situation beyond this season. There is no reason the Leafs would do that.
As for the idea of trading Brown, that does have some appeal, as Brown is awfully expensive for a fourth line winger, and arguably he’s a third line talent on most of the teams in the league. If the Leafs could clear salary, getting Brown out of here would be a great idea, except, if you aren’t bringing in anyone else, there’s no point in prematurely putting a whole in the Leafs roster when Brown is a player that can be moved without worry over the summer.
Looking around at what Connor Brown gets in trade, well, prices definitely drop in the summer, especially when teams start overvaluing draft picks. Brown on a good day gets a 2nd round player and 3rd round player pretty much any other day. It seems unlikely that Connor Brown will still be a Leaf next season given that he’s both costly and there is interest in him around the league.