The Flyers dealt captain Mike Richards and Jeff Carter today which sent shockwaves through the NHL. Even though the Leafs were not involved in the trades officially, they were said to be involved behind the scenes in an effort to improve their stagnant team.
With rumor sites lighting up across the globe with mention of the Leafs eyeing the likes of Zach Parise, Steven Stamkos, Paul Stastny and Eric Staal, it's hard not to get caught up in all the "trade-hype" at this time of year.
The Kings, even though they already have a first line center in Anze Kopitar, dealt their best prospect Brayden Schenn for Richards, who will assume the role of second line center and primary penalty killer on a strong Kings squad.
As for Carter, he will be joining World Championship team Canada captain Rick Nash and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus fans are already salivating at the prospects of Ryan Johansen playing between Nash and Carter on a nightly basis.
What could Brian Burke pull for an encore? Despite what many people think, once a deal is completed, the rest seem to fall in line, and trades are completed quickly. Trades are not a reactionary thing for GMs to do—in other words, you made a deal so I have to, but rather, deals serve as a gauge or a standard that other deals are compared to.
What could the Leafs go out and fetch on the eve before the draft? Here are three deals to consider:
Three-Way Blockbuster Trade with the Avalanche and Kings
To Toronto: Paul Stastny and John Michael Liles
To Los Angeles: 11th Pick, Jonas Gustavsson
To Colorado: Jonathan Bernier, Tyler Bozak or Clarke MacArthur or Mike Komisarek, No. 25 and No. 39 selections in 2011 draft
Why for Toronto?
They acquire a first line center for a replaceable part in Bozak and two fairly high picks in a relatively weak draft. They also get in on the John Michael Liles train and get themselves a power play quarterback.
Why for Los Angeles?
Here they can go any direction. With Jon Quick now cementing himself as a number one goalie, Bernier is shipped out for a top 11 pick and a good backup goalie. They can pair the pick and a player to possibly move up in the draft if they so please.
Why for Colorado?
They drop quite a contract off at the bank and get younger and lighter in the pocket books. The Avalanche also get one of the best young goalies in the NHL, a perfect thing for a franchise starving for a goaltender.
Trade With Philadelphia Gives Flyers More Flexibility
To Toronto: Kimmo Timonen
To Philadelphia: second-round pick No. 39
Why for Toronto?
Despite trading a second-rounder this year, they get a good legit veteran defenceman to help lead a young defence. The contract is a bit hefty, but the Leafs can afford it and it's not for a long term. If it doesn't work out, he can be shipped out next year.
Why for Philadelphia?
After acquiring a few restricted free agents, it's apparent the Flyers are in need of cap relief. With only $7 million in cap space, the Flyers have the likes of Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Ville Leino, Darrell Powe, Daniel Carcillo and Andreas Nodl to re-sign.
Despite what many think, Voracek, Simmonds and Leino could easily get at least $2.5 million on the open market, so expect the Flyers to yet again try and clear salary. That's where the Leafs jump in.
Toronto and New York Islanders Small Trade
To Toronto: Calvin de Haan and Pick No. 50
To New York Islanders: Mike Komisarek and Pick No. 30
Why for New York Islanders?
They move up in the draft and they also get an NHL defenceman, Long Island native and a big body presence on the backend in Komisarek. They'll need to hit the cap floor, so adding salary is needed for the Islanders to abide by NHL rules.
Why for Toronto?
Toronto, despite their depth in prospects, still don't have a pure point producing defensive prospect until now. They trade down in order to get younger, but the price may be worth it in the long run, especially given that they shed a terrible contract.
Rangers and Toronto Are in a Giving Mood
To Toronto: Chris Drury
To New York Rangers: the keys to the Lakeshore Lions arena and a third-round pick via Philadelphia
Why for Toronto?
Here they get a legit centerman—again, not your first line guy, but a good veteran nonetheless to have on your team. He wins draws, plays hard and is a good leader—what more could you ask for from the veteran?
Why for New York Rangers?
They want to clear some space to be able to re-sign their big name RFAs like Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan and Artem Anisimov, along with trying to make a splash come July 1st. This move allows them some more flexibility. This is another move that is similar to the Timonen move from above.
Now these deals aren't earth-shattering, but they are decent deals to be made. Most of the time, excluding today, many deals are not of the blockbuster variety. Sometimes the smallest of moves can pay off in the long run.
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