Tomas Plekanec to the Maple Leafs

by | Feb 25, 2018 | News, NHL, Rumors | 42 comments

The Montreal Canadiens traded forwards Tomas Plekanec and Kyle Baun to the Toronto Maple Leafs for for Rinat Valiev, Kerby Rychel and Toronto’s second round draft pick in 2018. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports the Canadiens have retained half of Plekanec’s $6-million salary-cap hit. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired center Tomas Plekanec from the Montreal Canadiens. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After nearly fourteen NHL seasons, Plekanec’s long tenure with the Canadiens is over. Considering how thin the Habs are at center, there was talk they might try to re-sign the 35-year-old center rather than trade him. Perhaps they’ll attempt to bring him back this summer as a free agent.

Though Plekanec’s offense has declined over the last two years, he remains a very effective checking center. Those skills and his veteran presence should provide a much-needed boost to the Leafs’ defensive game, especially in the postseason. As for Baun, he will likely report directly to the Leafs’ farm team.

The Habs get a decent return in this deal. The addition of the Leafs second-round pick gives them four in that round in this year’s draft. 

Rychel, 23, is a former first-round pick with the Columbus Blue Jackets who’s struggled to stay in the NHL. As the Canadiens promote some of their promising youngsters into their lineup over the remainder of the season, Rychel and Valiev are likely destined to fill roster spots on the Habs farm team.



  1. Nice update saw this here first even after checking some other sites… Good for him to get a shot at playoffs… I guess Montreal did alright or won the trade though its one or the other… Hopefully changing teams will help some of those younger players crack in. Looks like will be exciting day, Burrows was put on waivers if not for his cheap shot he probably would be easier to trade ;).

    • I dont mind this deal ..but the Leafs gave up a significant amount for a Rental as of right now…Plus I see Pleks signing back with Habs

      I really wanted to see Valiev play a few NHL games first before he was let go…

      also very curious letting go of Rychel ..the Leafs chased this guy around for almost 3 years in Columbus before finally landing him weird…obviously that was well before Nylander Marner and Kappy panned out but still weird.

      In the end i agree whole hearted with other Leaf posters that depth Center was a big issue as Ive been writing about lately …but id rather see deal like Letestu than the amount the Leafs gave up.

      Still need strength on the wing with a big body and also a shut down D man !

      GO LEAFS GO!!

      • You think Rychel and Valiev pkay more than 100 games in NHL? You’re a dreamer – it was all about the pick- Rychel is physical but slow and Valiev is a border line D-

  2. The much maligned (and rightfully so) Bergevin did very well here. Even holding money I didn’t think he could get a 2nd.

    Can someone explain this from a Leaf’s standpoint? Are they trading Bozak? Why use assets on Plekanec instead of a third pair D?

    • It’s basically the same thing they did last year for Boyle: adding veteran depth at C

    • I think they see Plekanec as a replacement for Dominic Moore on their fourth line. They could trade Bozak for a defenseman but everything I’ve heard suggests they’re keeping him for the playoffs. We’ll find out soon enough!

      • Don’t get me wrong, 4 strong centers is a good way to go, but…

        Ian Cole is exactly what the Leafs need and if the asking price on him was indeed a 2nd, I think the Leafs would have been better off going that way.

        Fine by me, I still hold out some hope the Pens can get the Sens to pay a bit of his salary and get Cole back from them.

      • Great trade for Toronto, as a leafs fan this is exactly what was needed. Babcock likes to have a checking/defensive centre, because the leafs don’t have one, he made Naz Kadri into one, Naz did amazing but as witnessed in last nights game he needs help against a line as good as Bergerons or Stamkos come playoff time. Also this frees up Naz and his line for more offence.

        The Leafs weakest spot that is easy to replace is 4c, now the line of Leo- Plenknaic and Kappy- can be matched up against the other teams top lines.

        If you look at Plenknaic vs Moore this is a major upgrade.

    • It’s been clear for a while that Toronto didn’t have confidence in Dominic Moore. Plekanec will be a significant upgrade and the Leafs now have a couple of strong defensive zone faceoff men in Plekanec and Tyler Bozak. Plekanec is also insurance against injury to any Leaf centres as he can play higher in the lineup. Keep an eye on Bergeron’s injury with Boston. He wore a walking boot after last night’s game in Toronto.

      • Letestu to Boston is a possibility.

      • 100%, Babcock wanted a better 4C.

        Naz and Kappy benefit the most, naz will have more offensive freedom and can stay with Marner/not be stuck with leo, and Kappy will play more then 10 minutes a night as Plekanic can handle a bigger work load.

        Best part is the pick is our pick and we still have another pick in the second round from SJS.

        Time to trade JVR for a first and a prospect and the leafs will be better both in the short and long term.

        Our ability to match lines against Boston, Tampa, or whomever in the playoffs just got a lot better.

        Naz got killed by Bergeron in the face off circle last night and Plenkanic can help relieve some of that pressure.

    • The leafs 3rd defence pairing is fine. Unless you are adding top four defenseman there is no sense in trading for a dman. Ian Cole is a number 6 at best.

  3. I said “No Chance” when I heard Ryan Nugent Hopkins mentioned in trade rumors to Montreal but now i’m not so sure. I hope Chiarelli keeps him but if he’s going it better be for no less than Pacioretty.

    • I did hear Montreal Neds a tank of gas for the zamboni and a bag of pucks so chia should be all over that with Nuge

  4. Mcdonagh to The Panthers rumblings coming out. Who’d a thunk it?

    • I honestly think FLA is saying they have interest only to drive up the cost for TB….. sincerely.

      Not sure what assests they have…. FLA is keeping Ekblad and Matheson. They also have Yandle and Pysk & Petrovic. DO they want a solid 6? That can get costly.

      Will they be offering McCoshen/Tippett & 1st?

      Interesting FLA’s name did come up.

      Perhaps Yandle is on his way back. I kid I kid

    • Weren’t Boston and TB the two biggest suitors for him?

      B’s spent their chips on Nash and TB seems likely to land Karlsson.

      The Leafs should be calling on him but beyond that, not many teams have the need and ability to do it.

      I don’t get the Panthers’ interest.

      • DALLAS has a need. Hamhuis is a UFA at seasons end. Method is not a #1 or #2D really. They have picks and solid prospects. With Lehtonen and Hamhuis up at seasons end they certainly can afford him long term. The year MacTruck becomes a UFA…Spezza’s contract is over.

        Dallas can make a solid pitch for him and play the “arms race” with LA and their defense.

  5. T-BAY needs to keep up with the Jones’s

  6. They need to change it Trade Deadline Week. No action all season and a bunch since Feb 22

    Green, Maroon, and Kane …up next

  7. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner …. Mon GM finally wins something …. what was GMLL thinking …. 2 future assets plus prospect Reichel so that a 35 year old centre can pull into as 4th line centre to replace 37 year old DM…. pretty pricy for that change in 4th line centre … and knowing that at absolute most Leafs get 3 home playoff gates????? Looooouuuuuuuuu????

    • think it was roster spots. they are full to the brigand Rachel was not cracking TML in the next 2 years unless they let every UFA forward go and even then I am not so sure.

      Think GM Lou & the Shanaplan management team were looking to go as deep as possible with this roster and see who really is good enough to keep this summer. Definitely had to clear up some roster contracts for the summer. Braun & Pleks will be let go.

    • Rychel’s time as a prospect were over when he cleared waivers to be sent to the Marlies after the exhibition season.

    • You’re guaranteeing that Toronto gets three home games at most? They beat Boston last night in a game where Boston lost their best player, at least he left foot cast. They are on tampa’s heels, so I’m not sure how you are guaranteeing this. I am not guaranteeing anything, I wouldn’t be surprised of Toronto goes out in the first round, I wouldn’t be surprised if they go deep. It is the playoffs and anything can happen. What GM was it, Bowman? Anyway, I heard a general manager say that once you think your team is a contender the window is already closing. Hi Dan, I’m not saying anything about how far Toronto will go, but they have a great goal tender and a super fast and talented offence of team, the defence is maybe a bit weak but can hold its own, look at their record. I can’t remember when the team won the cup with a weaker defense then they would want … Oh wait a second, it was last season…

      • Sorry there was some gibberish in there, using Siri to write my post and it is less than perfect

      • Beregeron is playing tonight, and if the leafs wanna get by Boston or tb in a 7 game series they will need those teams to get some major injuries

      • Why is that? They are right with those two teams in the standings, it will be a competitive series against either I think. I wouldn’t guarantee either way. Also I am sure that Toronto got stronger down the middle today and I am not that sure that Boston improves significantly with the Nash trade. Also, Toronto, Tampa and Boston all have goalies that could get hot and steal a series. Are you that confident that Toronto can’t give Boston a run?

  8. To MG …. Hunwick Cole flip …. Ottw gets Pens 2nd/4th; Pens get 3rd back….. Hunwick is painful to watch …. FLA were gleeful he was playing last night

    • call Vegas up…they have Garrison for whom you can swap out with.

      • To IHC—Would be an excellent excellent trade …. thought of that before …. but VGK would have to retain 1/2 ( are they at max number of retentions now) …. and not sure if Pens sweetening by adding 2nd&4th with taking back a 3rd would do it…Hunwick is absolutely that toxic s contract …. only just over $2M …. but he is brutal

      • they can retain on 1 more deal. PITTS has 1.9m in space currently. VGS would have to retain 50% … ya

        call up McPhee… ask him. Gotta offer him something decent since he already is eating half Brassard and took Reaves from ya so a low pick won’t cut it LOL

      • Pengy…. also will all that VGS is doing for Pitts already they have no reason to send back any picks to PITTS…even if Pitts adds a 2nd & 4th in your proposal. McPhee is using his cap space very well.

    • Is Petrovic in Florida still available? He would be perfect for the #6 slot on the Pens D. Hunwick is brutal.

      • Now ur getting it … ANYBODY is an upgrade to Hunwick …. not a chance FLA even considers taking Hunwick after witnessing first hand last night how bad he is …. I think only Arz taking him for a draft pick; then they buy him out .,,, makes any sense

    • Will the Penguins deal for a D-man? We’ll see what happens.

  9. I think TO fans will be happy with Pleks. He is good at faceoffs and still strong on defence. He has done it this yearand in the past, where he puts top opposition centres in his back pocket and completely smothers them. It has been so overshadowed in Mtl this year because he has gotten next to zero offensive support. I was actually surprised that Mtl did not grab Rychel off waivers earlier in the season. He obviously had no place in the Leafs future but might make it in Mtl. The 2nd rounder is awesome and like Rychel for the Leafs, Baun had no future in Mtl.

    • As a leafs fan I’m very happy and wanted this trade more then any other one given the player and price. he will play a big role for us come playoffs against bergerons line.

      even though we won last night that line killed us and bergeron dominated the face off circle.

      • @ PUCK 22

        I agree 100% The depth Center was looking terrible the last few months !

        outside of Bozak at the dot he has been gosh awefull he has lost a few steps this yer and Moore just needs to retire simple!

        Would rather had Letestu or another better peice at a lower cost as a rental though for the amount the Leafs paid !

  10. hope the leafs get a defenseman next

  11. GMLL —- no more trades — stop giving up futures for only a slight chance at 1 more home gate in playoffs (likely 2, outside chance 3rd one)– if you are going to make a trade — it must be to bring back a player with term— and without giving up anything in the first 2 rounds in any year and without giving up any Leaf prospect— better to leave all trades to just before or AT Draft day

  12. All the Leafs need now is Jagr. Perhaps they can trade the other second round pick and a few more Marlies.

    I also hear Chris Kotsopoulous might consider coming out of retirement.

  13. Finally MB does something good … Traded Pleckanec never thought anyone would pay a 2nd but was hoping …. I’m just happy he got a 2nd but I like the fact he got Kirby Also I think he can make Montreal’s lineup and score reminds me of a danualt where no one gives him a shot and then flourishes for what they gave up if I was Montreal I’d sign Pleckanec in the off season if he does well on a one year contract and trade him again next year for another 2nd and prospects lol