Toronto Maple Leafs Continue To Make Moves

Toronto Maple Leafs Continue To Make Moves

The past three weeks have been busy for the Toronto Maple Leafs, making three trades and setting themselves up well in their rebuild.

Eugenio Garro

The Toronto Maple Leafs managed to trade away three players while acquiring two more along with three draft picks in two separate deals.

Sunday morning it was announced that forward Shawn Matthias who was signed to a one-year deal in the offseason had been dealt to the Colorado Avalanche for forward Colin Smith and a fourth-round draft pick. One day later and the team announced a second deal, this time trading defenseman Roman Polak and forward Nick Spaling to the San Jose Sharks for two second round picks and forward Raffi Torres.

Closer Look

There was no salary retained in any of the deals for any of the teams leaving the Leafs with plenty of cap space. The Leafs have done a great job in receiving something for players who have expiring contacts. All three players the Leafs have dealt will all be unrestricted free agents at the end of the season.

Shawn Matthias, 28, $2.3-million cap hit was signed as a free agent in the summer.

Roman Polak, 29, is in the final year of five-year, $13.75-million. He was acquired in 2014 for Carl Gunnarson.

Nick Spaling, 27, $2.2-million cap hit and UFA at end of the season. He was acquired by the Leafs in this summer's Phil Kessel trade.

Out of the two players the Leafs acquired, one will be an unrestricted free agent and the other a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

Colin Smith, 22, has a cap hit of $628,333 and is a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

Raffi Torres, 34, has a cap hit of $2-million and is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. He has been loaned to the Sharks AHL team for the remainder of the year.

The fourth-round draft pick acquired from the Avalanche is for this year’s draft.

The two second-round picks that the Leafs acquired from the Sharks are in 2017 and 2018.

The Plan

It is no secret what the plan is in Toronto: Shed contracts, and of course salary, while receiving as much as you can for players who have expiring deals. In the span of two days, the Leafs have strung together two deals which helps them now as well as in the future.

The Leafs sit at the bottom of the standings with the Edmonton Oilers. But with a week until the NHL trade deadline, they have began the offloading. Just a few weeks ago, they managed to trade Dion Phaneuf to the Ottawa Senators in a nine-player deal.

With the fourth-round pick acquired in the Avalanche trade, the Leafs now have 12 picks in this summer's draft. However, the total will go down to 11 if the Pittsburgh Penguins fail to make the playoffs this season - making the pick go towards next season. The Leafs own the Penguins first rounder in this year's draft from the Phil Kessel deal.