A National Hockey League analyst has proposed a rather crazy trade. One that he admits is far fetched but also one he believes would genuinely make sense for both teams involved.
TSN's Travis Yost has proposed what would go down as a blockbuster deal between two of the biggest names in hockey, the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Yost would see the Canadiens, who in their current form appear destined to miss the NHL's postseason, trade veteran defenseman Shea Weber to the Maple Leafs in exchange for either Mitch Marner or William Nylander.
Here's a summary of Yost's proposal:
For starters, Montreal would need to retain salary. The only way to offset the sheer length of this deal would be to allow a team to escape some of his annual cost – Weber’s cap hit, for what it’s worth, is $7.8 million. A deal simply cannot happen without the Habs retaining a cost here.
Beyond that, it becomes a game of finding the right pieces that would encourage Montreal to get off of their current position of “win now” and start thinking about a plausible retool or rebuild. If Montreal agrees to swallow a large portion of salary in order to get a better piece, then the Leafs could seriously consider including someone like William Nylander or Mitch Marner. Nylander is due for his next contract at the end of the year, and Marner a year after.
The Leafs, and perhaps more importantly head coach Mike Babcock, would get that true #1 defenseman that they have been looking for, although admittedly Weber is in the latter half of his career, and the Canadiens would get another young piece to begin building around if they did indeed move towards a bit of a rebuild.
The money would also make sense for both sides. Due to the nature of Weber's contract if he were to retire early the Leafs would suffer no penalty, with the bulk of that going to the Predators due to the front-loaded deal.
On the other side of the equation the Canadiens have significant cap space, although Carey Price's new deal kicking in would complicate things a little. That being said the Habs would. at least initially, still unload cap space in this deal and adding a player like Nylander or Marner to play alongside another youngster in Jonathan Drouin could give the Habs some very solid pieces to tailor a rebuild around.
Would you make this deal if you were the Toronto Maple Leafs to win now? Would you make the deal if you were the Habs and needed to retool your roster? Who do you think would win this deal if it were to happen?