The Maple Leafs were the talk of the afternoon on NHL Trade Deadline specials around the country, as there was much speculation surrounding the team. As expected the Leafs decided to go the way of the seller, even though many fans would make the case that they are still in a position to squeak into the final playoff spot in the east.
The Morning first began with news that contract talks with Leafs Centre Dominic Moore had broken off, and that the Leafs had begun to shop around the league for offers. Along with Moore, Nik Antropov was a healthy scratch in last nights game against the New Jersey Devils and was expected to be on his way out of Toronto.
While many people waited on news of the departure of Moore and Antropov, the Leafs made a shocking waiver wire pickup that saw the former No.1 goaltender in Ottawa, Martin Gerber, put on a Leafs sweater. While many people were confused and shocked by the deal, it all made sense later on.
Leafs goaltender Vesa Toskala was then placed on injured reserve and will be out for the remainder of the season, in order to get a head start on his hip/groin surgery as well as the expected four month recovery to follow.
While many Leaf fans were disappointed that Toskala, who had just found his groove, would be out, it may be better in the long run as he should definitely be ready for next season.
The Maple Leafs are expected to finish off the last 18 games of the season with a Joseph and Gerber tandem. This gives Gerber the opportunity to prove himself as a No. 1 in the league again and Cujo the chance to play more games in what looks to be a goodbye season for what should be a future Hall of Fame Career!
After much speculation about the Leafs making some deals to bring in some prospects and draft picks, no trades had been made with only around 10 minutes left till the deadline. Finally the Leafs had pulled the trigger on both Moore and Antropov in return for draft picks.
Moore was sent to Buffalo for a second rounder while Antropov was sent to the Rangers for what was also a second round pick along with future considerations.
Both Moore and Antropov had become fan favorites in Toronto this season as both players have put up 40 plus points, and Leafs fans will be sad to see them go. However a deal had to be done in order to get something in return before possibly losing them to free agency this summer.
Not only will they get two young second round prospects from these trades, but who knows maybe Antropov and of Moore could be back this off season after July 1.
There was one more last minute deal for Brian Burke and the Leafs, which saw another unusual move for the Leafs situation. However it was quickly seen as the Leafs allowing for Tampa to dump some salary on them for some young prospects and a draft pick.
The leafs took on the salary of injured Lightning Olaf Kolzig and Jamie Heward and in return got first round prospect in the 04 draft defenseman Andy Rogers who has still yet to make his NHL debut, but shows some promise. The Leafs also get a fourth round draft pick in the upcoming draft this summer.
Brian Burke definitely felt like he was in a position where he needed to be a seller, and while he didn't get the first round picks he wanted for both Moore and Antropov, I would still say it was a job well done to get the pair of second round picks.
After Jokinen was off the market the Leafs were hoping the value of the two forwards would increase but unfortunately they didn't, and decided to take the offers on the table.
It should be an interesting finish to the season for the Leafs, however after today the many Leaf fans still hoping for a playoff spot will be disappointed with the deadline deals. But for the Leaf fans who didn't think the playoffs were realistic, they should be pretty happy with the draft picks and prospects the Leafs picked up.
And hey, who dosent want to see Cujo win some games to finish off his legendary career in the Blue and White!
- Leafs claim G Martin Gerber off waivers from the Ottawa Senators
- Leafs claim D Eric Reitz off waivers from the New York Rangers
- To New York: Nik Antropov
To Toronto: Second round pick, conditional draft pick
- To Buffalo: Dominic Moore
To Toronto: Second round pick (Hurricanes former pick)
- To Toronto: Olaf Kolzig, Jamie Heward, Andy Rogers, fourth round pick
To Tampa Bay: Richard Petiot