The trading floodgates should be opening today. Or it could be like last year when every GM quietly makes their scheduled pick and we turn off our televisions feeling unfulfilled five hours later. Still, there’s the hope of trades and that’s what we’re in the business of selling you. There was a Dubas availability yesterday, and we’ll start with some of his quotes from that.
It seems that Kyle Dubas is viewing Jack Campbell as a bit of a safety school when it comes to goaltending options, and that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. The goal is to either upgrade or get cheaper. The status quo isn’t an option because the status quo is about to triple in price. It’s probably best to make peace with the fact that Jack Campbell won’t be a Leaf next season if that was something you wanted.
Dubas was far blunter when it came to Mikheyev and reiterated how much the Leafs love the player and how he is likely due for a raise, but that raise has him priced out of Toronto. The communication channels are open but don’t hold out hope here.
This follows a lengthy quote about how the Leafs view Sandin and Liljegren to be very similar, and it doesn’t take a genius to read into the fact that the Leafs see Sandin as needing to take a contract identical to Liljegren’s. The offer sheet tough talk is interesting, but deep down the Leafs are not going to be happy about the idea of losing Sandin potentially for a second round pick. Sandin should very much continue to be a player to focus on in the next week, but nothing here sounds like things will be going down at the draft.
Basically, the Leafs are going to prioritize upside over NHL readiness, as one would expect with a 25th overall pick.
Certainly a thoughtful exploration of the Russian situation by Dubas in a limited quote, but when you couple this with the Leafs need to bring in high end talent that will work immediately with their player development team and the fact that Jim Paliafito isn’t giving the Leafs expert insight on Russian players anymore, the Leafs will likely stick to what they know best: Finland.
This is interesting and honestly, the Leafs don’t have much in the way of bad contracts on the team. Players like Holl, Muzzin, and Kerfoot are all moveable. And if the Leafs want to make a big splash William Nylander is certainly moveable as well. It’s just a matter of having one hell of a plan for that cap space and feeling comfortable with how things will go in free agency or other trades to do that. For what it’s worth, I’d expect that Kyle is speaking specifically to Holl and Kerfoot being roster players on the way out.
This strictly reads as Lyubushkin not being a priority, but if things go sour with Sandin and the Leafs can sign Lyubushkin for less than the price of Holl, I guess he starts working his way back into the mix. Lyubushkin was an ideal trade deadline add, but I’m not sure he’s a player you prioritize for the full season.
David is going to have more about Mrazek later today on TLN, so I’m not going to step on his toes, but this feels like posturing and trying to assert he’s not willing to give up any more than he’s already presented to rival GMs when it comes to moving on from Mrazek. If Mrazek does in fact come back, well… I hope he has been doing well this summer.
Rumours from around the NHL
The Wild, by the way, remained interested in bringing back Fleury as of Wednesday, so that remains on the table. And as discussed before, the Maple Leafs could be another option for Fleury.
The Leafs and Oilers could be among the options for Husso depending on how some of the other dominoes fall.
It seems like Fleury is Plan A for the Leafs, Campbell is Plan A for the Oilers, and Husso is Plan B for both. Depending on what the cost of a short term deal with Fleury costs, it’s not too difficult to get on board with trying to get another late career miracle out of him. And Husso seems like the best of the rest and likely to be cheaper than Campbell.
The Ottawa Senators 7th overall pick is apparently in play. It doesn’t seem like these teams will hook up on the star caliber player required to attain that pick, nor is it likely the Sens want to trade a top pick to the Leafs, but it is interesting that the Senators are joining the Devils and Flyers as teams shopping picks within the top 10. The Blue Jackets are also apparently willing to part with their 6th or 12th overall pick, which could make things interesting as well.
A lot of this is fitting with the belief that top tiers of the draft are really second line talents not elite, generational, or even first line caliber. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and while I don’t expect the Leafs to get involved, the idea of dumping salary and getting high picks in the process is of interest.
I don’t know if there is bad blood between Ken Holland and Kyle Dubas after the Hyman situation last year or if Ken Holland holds a grudge on behalf of his former coach Mike Babcock, but I’d have to say that if the returns are marginal on Puljujarvi it wouldn’t be the worst to be the team that offers something modestly better to get a player that either adds some size and responsibility to the second line.
Considering the amount of dirt the Oilers organization and by extension, the Edmonton media has kicked on this kid over the years I’m not sure how much of a return they can reasonably expect.
Still, as much as I like Puljujarvi as a player I don’t think we see him in a Leafs uniform.
Be sure to keep checking back to TLN throughout the day as we’ll regularly report on the latest to come out of the draft in Montreal.