Toronto Maple Leafs: Weekly Trade Rumours II


Toronto Maple Leafs: Weekly Trade Rumours II

With the NHL trade deadline just over a month away, each week we will take a look at the latest trade rumours surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs, as various sources will compile a list of links from around the rinks.

Leafs Have No Interest in Evander Kane

After failing to show up for Winnipeg’s game last Sunday, the trade rumours surrounding disgruntled Jets’ winger Evander Kane have heated up. Thankfully for Leafs’ fans, Toronto has no interest in acquiring Kane according to TSN‘s Bob McKenzie. 

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“Not at all. Not the least bit. The Toronto Maple Leafs have more than enough scoring wingers. They don’t have a centre. They don’t have enough centres and don’t have enough premium defencemen.” (H/T to Nichols on Hockey for transcribing some of the interview)

Yes, Kane is a very talented player, there is no denying that. However, his antics, fights with teammates and overall attitude would probably be a nightmare in Toronto.

Many have thrown around the comparison of Kane needing a fresh start, much like Seguin did in Boston. Seguin was a little different from Kane though, as his off-ice issues did not consist of fighting with teammates like Kane reportedly did with Jets’ defenseman Dustin Byfuglien.

Regardless of his issues, Kane to Toronto sounds very, very unlikely.

Dec 23, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Joffrey Lupul (19) skates against the Dallas Stars during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Maple Leafs shut out the Stars 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Joffrey Lupul On the Block

Often injured forward Joffrey Lupul is another player TSN’s Bob McKenzie touched on earlier this week, saying that “there is no question the Leafs will try to trade Lupul”.

“Oh, I don’t think there’s any question they will try to move him. I don’t know what the market will be for him. Joffrey, when he’s on a tear, is a real good offensive hockey player. He’s got a big body that can play in the Western Conference and understands what it takes to play in the Western Conference. I could absolutely see him being an important acquisition for a team that’s looking to improve its offensive depth,” said McKenzie.

“The problem, and everybody knows it, is that he’s quite often injured. And when he’s not injured, he’s not always on a hot streak. But boy, if he gets on that hot streak at just the right time, he can be a game-changer.”

On Monday evening, TSN‘s Darren Dreger was on the NHL Network’s NHL Tonight and he stated that the St. Louis Blues are a team interested in Lupul, but similar to everybody else, they have concerns about his health.

“I think they’d like to add a depth forward. And who is that? Is it Antoine Vermette from the Arizona Coyotes? Is it potentially Joffrey Lupul from the Toronto Maple Leafs? They have some injury concerns, I know, with Lupul.” (H/T to Nichols on Hockey for the quote)

With Lupul set to earn $5.25 million over the next three seasons, trading him makes sense. However, as mentioned above, his health is a major concern. Ultimately, it sounds like teams are having a hard time assessing Lupul because he has not played a full season since he was 23 years old.

Detroit and Colorado Interested in Franson … and Phaneuf?

Interest in Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson continues to be a hot topic of discussion, as rumours of him being a scratch for last night’s game caused mass speculation of him being traded.

However, Franson did suit up last night, logging 21:09 of ice time, to go along with an assist and a plus two rating.

Dec 23, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson (4) waits for play to resume against the Dallas Stars during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Maple Leafs shut out the Stars 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

But, as ESPN‘s Craig Custance pointed out earlier this week on WGR 550, Franson-to-Detroit is a deal that makes sense for both teams.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland has stockpiled prospects and draft picks for years, making his surplus of young talent intriguing to just about every trade deadline seller.

With the Red Wings need for a right-handed shooting defenseman, Franson is an ideal fit. Plus, his upcoming UFA status allows the Red Wings to give their young, 6-3 defenseman, Ryan Sproul, time to develop in Grand Rapids.

The Leafs may be reluctant to deal with a division rival though, putting a damper on these trade rumours. The Red Wings are also linked to a long list of defensemen, including: Jeff Petry, Mike Green, Marek Zidlicky, Brian Campbell, Keith Yandle and Tyler Myers.

Given the Leafs desire for prospects and draft picks, a deal with Detroit — regardless of their divisional status — does make sense.

Aside from the teams mentioned in last weeks article, another team interested in Franson is the Colorado Avalanche.

Mike Chambers of The Denver Post speculates that the Avalanche are interested in not only Franson, but also captain Dion Phaneuf.

Chambers thinks the price for a defenseman like Oliver Ekman-Larsson or Keith Yandle will be too steep for the Avalanche, thus, Colorado would be better off hoping that a change-of-scenery would rejuvenate a player like Phaneuf.

Santorelli, Winnik Continue to Draw Interest:

According to The Fourth, Mike Santorelli and Daniel Winnik continue to attract interest from numerous clubs around the NHL.

The Leafs have received calls from Nashville, Los Angeles, Vancouver and New York regarding Santorelli, while Pittsburgh, Winnipeg and Chicago have all inquired about Winnik.

ESPN’s Craig Custance (insider only) believes Daniel Winnik would be an affordable pickup for the Islanders.

Either way, Santorelli and Winnik sound like they will be traded before the trade deadline.