The Maple Leafs and Avalanche could be early season trade partners
Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
By Shane Seney5 days ago
The NHL announced the trade deadline for the 2023-24 season will be at 3 p.m. ET on March 8. The Toronto Maple Leafs and more specifically general manager Brad Treliving will be busy leading up to early March, there’s no doubt about that. Turns out there could be a potential deal shake-down before the season even starts.
Earlier this week it was reported by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli that the Colorado Avalanche were in the market for another goaltender. Sounds like backup Pavel Francouz’s adductor injury has not healed exactly as expected and there are some growing concerns about his availability to start this season.
The Avs do have four other goalies under contract, they include prospects Justus Annunen, Arvid Holm, Trent Miner and Avalanche starter Alexandar Georgiev.
Insert the Maple Leafs and Treliving. Could the two teams pull off a preseason deal to kick off the 2023-24 campaign?
The Leafs have Ilya Samsonov, who is the starter and will see the bulk of the work this season. He’s not going anywhere. There’s Joseph Woll, one of the Leafs’ best prospects and someone the team is very high on. He’s likely not going anywhere and it would take something drastic to happen during camp or preseason for anything different to occur. So, what about Martin Jones?
Jones was signed by Treliving recently on a one-year deal worth $875,000. This comes after one season with the Seattle Kraken where Jones finished the season with a 27-13-3 record alongside a dismal .887 save percentage and a little bit more respectable goals-against average of 2.95. Not a perfect season by any stretch, but someone who gives the Maple Leafs some internal competition for training camp and pushes Woll for the backup minutes.
If Francouz is going to miss some significant time to start the season, Jones could provide Colorado with a steady veteran backup netminder who can take the crease should Georgiev go down with an injury. Jones has been a proven winner in this league and has the tools to keep his team in games, just ask the Kraken last season.
This wouldn’t be a massive deal so don’t expect Treliving to receive Devon Toews in exchange. A more realistic return would be a B-level prospect or a late-round draft pick as Jones’ trade value is minimal, even with the potential of a stellar preseason coming up.
This move would also help the Maple Leafs get under the salary cap ahead of the season opener as they will need to shed some money to be eligible for game one. Waiving Jones was an option, along with Conor Timmins and Dylan Gambrell. One move unlikely to happen is Treliving trading away Calle Jarnkrok to shed $2.1 million. The new Leafs GM loves Jarnkrok, so I just don’t see this happening.
With the Avalanche moving Gabriel Landeskog to LTIR once the season starts and potentially Francouz, and with some cuts coming at training camp, they should have the space to add in Jones and his $875,000.
We’ll have to wait and see how training camp plays out but the Avalanche are looking for some help in their crease and the Maple Leafs may just have exactly what their doctor ordered.
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