Trade season is open wide in the National Hockey League and discussions around which players might be moved and where they might end up have picked up considerably as a result. This latest trade proposal comes courtesy of NHL insider Scott Burnside and it would be a blockbuster indeed, especially if it goes in one of the directions he has proposed.
He believes we could see a trade blowing the All-Canadian North division wide open with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames getting involved. As Burnside puts, he thinks the Flames could be “in need of a shakeup that extends beyond the coaching position” and suggests the Flames trade forward Johnny Gaudreau to Toronto.
Gaudreau has been impressive to watch and does not hold any clause getting him safe in Calgary and might be the best trade chips the Flames have.
Things might get complicated in Toronto to land Gaudreau and this is how Burnside explains it:
“Here’s where it gets a bit complicated. The Maple Leafs would like a top-nine winger and Gaudreau certainly fits the bill. But Toronto has zero cap space to play with so the Flames will likely have to eat some of Gaudreau’s $6.75 million salary as well as likely take back some salary possibly in the form of Alex Kerfoot, who has two years left on his deal at $3.5 million. The benefit for the Leafs is that Gaudreau has another year left on his deal so he’s not a straight rental. That also means Treliving will be able to ask for more, so let’s say a first-round pick in either this year’s draft or next and another solid pick plus a prospect like Timothy Liljegren. The other factor in a deal like this is that Gaudreau wouldn’t have to face the two-week quarantine. This might be as good a chance as the Leafs have had in years, maybe since the 2004-05 lockout, to get to a final four. Why not roll the dice?”
Gaudreau’s name is often mentioned in trade chatter if the Flames indeed go for a major shakeup.
If the Flames truly decide to shake things up and consider moving one of their franchise players in a blockbuster trade– would GM Kyle Dubas and the Maple Leafs pull the trigger?