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5 trades the Leafs could make that would make their roster worse

Andreas Johnsson and Kasperi Kapanen are both pretty good hockey players, but the Leafs have a lot of pretty good hockey players. It would not be wise to trade these guys for worse hockey players, but NHL general managers make bad decisions all the time. Instead of pushing for some hypothetical trades that the Leafs could do to make their roster better and more likely to compete for a playoff spot and hopefully the Stanley Cup, here are five moves that the Leafs could do if they just really wanted to sewer themselves.

Andreas Johnsson and Kasperi Kapanen to Calgary for Milan Lucic

This one is about as easy as it gets when it comes to bad deals. For some reason, the Calgary Flames felt the best way to deal with their James-Neal-isn’t-scoring-problem was to trade him for one of the worst players in the league. The Leafs could make an even worse deal, by packaging Johnsson’s cap hit of $3.4 million alongside Kapanen’s $3.2 million to easily make up the $6 million Lucic makes. Of course, Lucic would have to waive his no trade clause, so this one might not come to fruition.

Kasperi Kapanen and Jason Spezza to Ottawa for Nikita Zaitsev

The Leafs do need more defence probably, especially with Morgan Rielly getting injured. Why not bring an old friend back, who’s in it for the long haul? Imagine a Ceci-Zaitsev pairing? Why the heck not? The money doesn’t quite make sense, but the Senators could probably retain a couple hundred thousand to make it work in return for a franchise legend.

Andreas Johnsson for Jordan Martinook to Carolina and a 2023 fifth-round pick

Jordan “Marty” Martinook isn’t a bad player at all, but Andreas Johnsson is a better one. A fifth round pick in three years means little consequence to a team with an open window right now.

Kasperi Kapanen to Vegas for Jake Bischoff and a 2021 seventh-round pick

Jake Bischoff played four games for the Vegas Golden Knights this year, registering no points. He has played 33 games for the Chicago Wolves, registering three assists. He’s 25, a seventh round pick himself and those are the only four NHL games he’s played. Maybe he has great possession stats or something, but he doesn’t seem very good in my very basic analysis.

Andreas Johnsson, Ilya Mikheyev and Kasperi Kapanen to San Jose for Patrick Marleau and Martin Jones

The Leafs need a new backup goalie, this much is clear. What about a failed starter who makes too much money, and and old friend on league minimum for kicks? Martin Jones’ .891 save percentage this year and $5.75 million through 2023-24 aren’t great, but they are marginally better than Michael Hutchinson at .885. The money would work if the Leafs wanted to do it, and it would definitely make their roster worse.


So there you have it. You can read a lot of articles about how the Leafs might make their team better in the next month, but there are very few articles as confident as this one that all of their proposals would be bad ideas. That’s the 2020 TheLeafsNation.com guarantee.