As you may already be aware, the Leafs made a massive deal involving their captain today.
For those who aren’t and need to catch up, I’ll fill you in.
The Toronto Maple Leafs made a massive nine- player blockbuster deal with their Ontario rivals, the Ottawa Senators.
The Leafs sent captain Dion Phaneuf, Matt Frattin, Casey Bailey, Ryan Rupert and Cody Donaghey to the Senators in exchange for Milan Michalek, Jared Cowen, Colin Greening, Tobias Lindberg and a 2017 second-round pick.
Milan Michalek, 31, has six goals and 10 points in 32 games in what has been an injured plagued season with the Senators. According to General Fanager, he’s slated to make four-million dollars over the next two seasons.
**For more information on the contracts, I highly recommend visiting www.generalfanager.com
It’s already being speculated that Milan Michalek could be flipped later on.
That being said, I suspect the Leafs will aim to flip Michalek at some point. Greening a non-factor as he’s in AHL. Def long-term savings
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) February 9, 2016
Colin Greening, 29, seems to be a non-factor, as he will most likely report back to the American Hockey League with the Toronto Marlies. He split this season with Ottawa and Binghamton in the AHL. He has tallied 87 points in 256 NHL games.
Jared Cowen, 25, has tallied four assists this year in 37 games with the Senators. Cowen is slated to make $3.1 million the next two years. Cowen has been a huge question mark in Ottawa, but this could pay off for the struggling blue-liner.
Leafs were able to break away from a hefty seven-million dollar contract over five years in Phaneuf, without retaining any salary is a huge win. Not only that, Leafs were able to get rid of expiring contracts and players who were fading in depth charts.
Both Cowen and Michalek’s contract are at reasonable prices. Both deals equate close to Phaneuf’s contract, but those deals will be short lived. When healthy, Michalek could be an effective player. As mentioned before it’s possible that Michalek could be flipped quickly.
As of today, the Leafs have $5,128,908 left in cap space. With a number of guys on one-year deals, possibly on the move, that number could increase significantly. That would give us enough money to sign a certain former 60-goal scorer who is a UFA at the end of the year. But I won’t dwell too much on that.
The key piece that stood out for me in this deal was the acquisition of Tobias Lindberg.
Lindberg, 20, was one of many key contributors with the Oshawa Generals last year en route to the OHL Championship and Memorial Cup.
Here are a couple of plays from him:
Lindberg put up 78 points in 67 games played last year and has put up impressive numbers in his rookie season with the Binghamton Senators. He has tallied 22 points in 34 games.
This is the main piece of the trade. Michalek is a non factor in this deal. Cowen could possibly work out, but that is yet to be determined. Maybe he just needed a change of scenery. But there could be a lot of promise in Lindberg, a fourth round pick (102nd overall in 2013).
Lindberg is a big player at six-foot-three, 215 pounds. He’s an excellent player with a pass first mentality and can play in any situation. Not only that, Lindberg will be reunited with his junior coach, DJ Smith. The familiarity is there and I believe that this played a factor. Smith made the Genreals into a great all-round team that year that was able to play in any situation. With Smith on Babcock’s staff and Lindberg performing well under Smith, he could fit into this system perfectly.
This also gives Leafs more depth in the prospect pool to potentially move other guys out and free up more cap space.
As a result, this a great deal for the Leafs and even for the Senators. The Senators were able to add a key player who could benefit the team down the line.
For the Leafs. this a huge win. Phaneuf has played relatively well this season. While the return wasn’t that great, the fact that the Leafs were able to shed his seven-million dollar contract, without retaining a penny, is definitely a huge win. Adding another decent prospect to our pool is an excellent move.
— PengellyInk (@pengellyink) February 9, 2016