Latest on the Leafs, Senators and Coyotes – March 9, 2017

by | Mar 9, 2017 | Rumors | 36 comments

Could the Toronto Maple Leafs use William Nylander as trade bait for a defenseman this summer?

Examining how the Toronto Maple Leafs can improve their defense, the Ottawa Senators pursuit of Patrick Sharp and the Arizona Coyotes’ depth in draft picks in your NHL rumor mill. 

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, James Mirtle examined how the Toronto Maple Leafs could improve their defense corps in the offseason. He believes they need a top-pairing blueliner and a depth d-man. He speculates the expansion draft in June could force teams carrying lots of good young defensemen, such as the Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild, into some “uncomfortable choices” that the Leafs could exploit.

Mirtle doesn’t believe young stars such as Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander will be used as trade bait to land a top defenseman. He said all the trade talk this season regarding Nylander isn’t coming from the Leafs. Mirtle also gets the feeling they’re frustrated that the youngster keeps popping up in unsubstantiated rumors. He suggests veteran winger James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak as possible trade candidates. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect the Leafs will be busy via the trade and/or free agent markets to improve their blueline. The Ducks, Wild, Carolina Hurricanes, Philadelphia Flyers and Vancouver Canucks carry lots of promising young d-men and are the most likely trade partners for Toronto. 

Nylander would certainly fetch a quality defenseman, but I agree with Mirtle that van Riemsdyk or Bozak are more likely to be dangled as trade bait. A stumbling block is their respective contracts, as they both only have a year remaining on their current deals. Both, however, can be re-signed to contract extensions starting on July 1, so perhaps there’s room for a possible sign-and-trade scenario. 

OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan reports the Senators attempted to acquire veteran winger Patrick Sharp from the Dallas Stars before the recent NHL trade deadline. However, Sharp wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause to come to Ottawa. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So, safe to say the Sens won’t be on Sharp’s list of preferred destinations as a free agent this summer? 

ARIZONA CENTRAL: Sarah McLellan recently reported the Arizona Coyotes depth in draft picks in this year’s draft could provide some flexibility to use some as trade bait before the draft in June. They currently have seven selections in the 2017 draft, including two in the first round and two in the third. GM John Chayka could use them to acquire established players from teams at risk of losing such players in the expansion draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That first round pick they got from the Minnesota Wild is the most likely to be used to pry an established player away from a club at risk of losing one to Vegas in the expansion draft. 


  1. After watching him struggle to keep up last night I’m glad Sharp said no to a trade to Ottawa.

    • Regardless, that can’t be a good sign for future FA’s signing in O-town going forward. I mean i can see why Fillupla refused the Leafs. But, not wanting to go back to the playoffs in Ottawa? It’not like the Stars are getting in this year.

      • Whatever, rental

      • Guess he’s had enough trophies…just likes the heat lol

      • Much like another old crock Shane (I’d rather relax on my ranch than maybe win a cup) Doan. These guys have found their comfort zone and winning anything of any consequence has become secondary.

      • These players have families, are established in the Community; Doan, & if moving only wish to do so if they go to a team that’s a true cup contender, not to a team that’s 1 & done or gets lucky & advances 1 round.

        I spend a ton of time in both Dallas & Phoenix.The only time I don’t want to be in Phoenix is June, July & August. It’to hot. The other 9 months of the year? I’m in.

      • You mean like those powerhouse Capitals – two years in a row of one and done. What do these guys want in order to go to another playoff team? Guarantees of success? Don’t give me that crock.

      • Come playoff time George anything is possible. Especially under this current playoff format, this stupid bracket system the NHL put in for the last 2 years & this year. the best teams in the league can face each other in the 1st round.

        I’ve been offered huge monies to move else where, other enticements. I decide where I live & work for my reasons so does anyone. That doesn’t make Sharp or Doan any less a person. Your slighting 2 upstanding players who are winding down there careers & have the right to choose, legally negotiated into their contracts.

        If that slights you oh well get over it. It doesn’t alter my opinion of either player. Doan has been 1 of the best leaders to ever play the game. His loyalty to Winnipeg/Arizona is admirable not the opposite.

      • Let me take a wild guess – you’re a liberal.

      • And as for being “loyal” to his team – yeah, right, so loyal he says, in effect, hell no I won’t go regardless of what you might get back in return to help the franchise down the road. Some loyalty – smacks of Mats Sundin. Get over yourself Striker, a “sage” you are not.

      • Gotta side with Striker on this one. Work is work, life is life.
        Family comes first, not even a close decision. Hockey is a job for these guys, a great one mind you, but a job. None of us know their situations, with their kids, with their wives. They are people just like everyone else, not a commodity that is owned by we the fans. Striker, it is also why I live where I do so ya, I get what you are saying.
        George, take the fan hat off and try thinking about it that way, and no it has nothing to do with politics or the blanket labeling of Liberal or Conservative.

      • Here here Barky! Scraping the barrel when someone uses the term liberal or conservative in any negative way. But George is right… striker is no sage… and he would agree… wouldn’t you obiwon?

      • George, if the league didn’t want players to turn down trades, then they should never have allowed NMCs to be put in place. I know it’s a union thing that got thrown on them, but then again, look at how many GMs are willing to offer idiotic, long term deals with NMCs. It’s their own fault. Also, sometimes those deadline deals really screw a team over (like Chicago last year), might be better to look at it as a good thing your team didn’t get a Doan or a Sharp.

      • Not a party right wing enough in Canada for me to vote for George. I don’t vote complete & utter waste of time. We are over governed, over taxed, over regulated.

        This system was based on the Roman political system & is just as antiquated.

        Not the right time or place for this discussion.

      • Doan has shown a ton of loyalty to Arizona. Could have left as a UFA several times even had better offers from other teams. Stayed knowing they would be bad winning nothing. There was no market for Doan this trade deadline & the return to Arizona nothing. Stay with your family, be happy, retire with the 1 team you played for your entire career. A very rare accomplishment in today’s NHL.

        George I have asked before & I will ask again. Please cease with the personal jabs. If you can’t debate or discuss as an adult don’t resort to being a 12 year old & name calling. Show some class.

    • Im less of a sharp fan now. Haha

      No surprise that another guy doesnt want to come to Canada. I think thete are diffetent reasons for each camadian city as well as some common donimnaters. But not realky surprised.

  2. With the repeated location issues the only way the Yotes get top shelf talent is to trade for it. Though they will have plenty of cash for FA they won’t find any willing to come.

    • If it was actually a deal, Sharpe would be in a Capitals jersey….thats no crock!

    • If Sharpe had had the option, he would have been in a Capitals jersey….thats no crock!

      • And you know that for a fact how? You a second cousin to Sharp’s aunt or something?

    • They have a ton of stud prospects coming. Their plan is to keep payroll to the bare bone until revenue streams can be resolved. Surrounding young talent with solid 2 way players.

      Most players will go any where for the right money & opportunity. The just scooped up Goligoski last summer just before becoming a UFA. Probably the best 2 way Dman that would have hit the UFA market had they not sent Dallas a used bag of pucks.

  3. With JVR I could see the contract or lack of an extension being way more of an issue than with Bozak…I’m not so sure going forward that Bozak isn’t worth close to what he is now I’m not sure it takes a crystal ball to figure out his next contract, JVR on the other hand with his affordable 4.25 currently could feel that the raise he is due following a 6 year 25 mill deal where his pace was close to 60 points a season… if he isn’t extended JVRs likely looking at a much more significant raise than Bozak which could scare off some teams close to the cap.

  4. Bazooka (spell check but I can of like it ) and JVR are not in the same class as players. I posted it late yesterday -I think Vegas will do everything they can to land Patrick-flip expansion draft players ,trade future picks etc.There is Wheat King management with Knights Re: the Duke signing

  5. Got a question. So if the Leafs (or whoever for that matter) trades a guy like JVR for a D-man the ducks or wild were going to have to expose, then won’t they have to expose JVR? If a high caliber d-man is unprotected, then how does JVR get protected? Wouldn’t it make more sense for those teams to want draft picks for their unprotected players?

    • Exactly. That’s why you saw no bigger names go anywhere at the trade deadline and that approach will carry over into the period leading up to the expansion draft.

      • Thanks. It almost made more sense to do that at the trade deadline, because at least you get some play out of them (like if the ducks needed offense more than D right now), but at the draft it made 0 sense to me.

      • Well, no.

        Because with an extra forward to protect you can go 3 and 7, with an extra D to protect it’s 4 and 4.

        That’s 2 extra players protected in the scenario where you give a D for an F.

        Incidentally, Lyle, it took Hall to get Larson.
        You never know, but I’m not sure that Nylander gets that type of return.
        So it depends how good a D the Leafs expect to pick up.

      • Don’t listen to George, if it’s not Ottawa related he’s virtually clueless.

        This summer will be the most active trade market seen in decades. Numerous teams have to many Dman, at least 5 that will move 1 as opposed to losing them or the forward they would lose if the choose the 8 skater option.

        Then there are teams that have to many forwards for the 7 forward option. Then you have teams with serious cap issues who will need to address before the season starts. All teams need to submit their 23 man roster by 9PM eastern time the day before the season starts. Then you will have teams that have holes to fill & money to spend from the players & salary they lost in the expansion draft.

        As is generally the case 99.9% of the time George & I are on exactly opposite ends of the extremes. Who’s the liberal? Ha-ha!

    • 2 formulas available under the expansion draft rules. 7 forwards, 3 d 7 1 G or 8 skaters & a G. Players with 2 years or less of NHL/AHL experience are exempt from having to be protected as are players on LTIR who have missed 65 consecutive games to end the season or get exemption from the NHL.

      1 of those formulas allows you to protect 2 more forwards than the other. Assuming that if a team is using the 8 skater option they are protecting 4Dman or more.

  6. Arz essentially has an extra 1st; Minnesota’s, & 3rd; not their own, went to Florida for Crouse but Calgary’s & Detroit’s, no 4th. In a weak draft.

    I could see Arizona moving picks at the draft ofr a slightly later pick this year & a similiar pick next year.

    Arizona has a ton of young prospects, how many more does 1 team need.

    • Ask the leafs.

      • Hell, ask Edmonton – they had what? 5 1st overall picks? And remained doormats year after year.

      • Till now! 5th times the charm!

    • Unless they get one of the Top 3 this year – Nolan Patrick, Nico Hischier, Timothy Liljegren – they won’t find anything better than Jakob Chychrun, Dylan Strome, Nick Merkley, Christian Fischer, Conor Garland, Henrik Samuelsson, Brendan Perlini, Christian Dvorak, Laurent Dauphin, Ryan MacInnis, Clayton Keller, Anthony DeAngelo or Kyle Wood.

      It’ll be too bad if, after building up that cupboard, they have to showcase them in Seattle or Kansas City.

      • Arizona isn’t going any where. All part of the posturing game. They will return the the American Airlines Arena after next season until such time as new building is completed in 4 to 6 years. This BS could add a year or 2.

        Can’t wait to see Glendale City Council explain to their tax payers why they have this building sitting empty more than 1/2 the year.

        Most of those kids you mention, certainly not all will get to showcase their talents in Arizona for most of their careers. Several are now. Dvorak, Perlini, DeAngelo, Reider, Martinook, Chychurn, Crouse, Domi, Murphy & Dominque. Several more that you mentioned will be joining them next season.

        This maybe the best prospect system in the NHL & although they are losing money they are far from alone. Under the current NHL business model most US teams can’t turn a profit unless they make the playoffs. In the next CBA further steps will be implemented to help elevate that yet again.

  7. Question say a team deals a player to a team for futures…So that team does not lose that player in the expansion draft…. Then said team after the draft gets a player from the team they were getting futures from….Can this be done