The Toronto Maple Leafs shook up the entire NHL yesterday when they shipped speedy winger Kasperi Kapanen to the Pittsburgh Penguins for what essentially amounts to cap space and future assets in the form of a 1st round pick and a top prospect.
While yesterday's deal is no minor transaction, fans and analysts believe that it's merely a prelude to bigger moves to come from Leafs GM Kyle Dubas. And in fact today Leafs insider James Mirtle confirmed that the team is shopping goaltender Frederik Andersen and forwards Andreas Johnsson, Pierre Engvall and Alex Kerfoot on the trade market.
From Mirtle's most recent column for The Athletic:
Dubas and the front office have been very busy in the two weeks since they were eliminated by Columbus. According to multiple NHL teams, no fewer than four intriguing Leafs are being dangled to varying degrees:
1. Frederik Andersen. The Leafs starting goaltender can apparently be had for a “useful” but low-cost asset in what would largely be a cap-clearing trade. Andersen could be a really intriguing option for a team without a lot of cash, as he has only $1 million in salary remaining due to a large signing bonus the Leafs have already paid. I wonder if the Oilers might be a fit given they want to overhaul their goaltending situation, although they’d have to find a way to make Andersen’s cap hit work.
2. Alexander Kerfoot. Going back to his Colorado days, there were concerns over his ability to play centre and drive play without being paired with more talented linemates. At $3.5 million, the Leafs needed him to fill the 3C role well and the results were mixed at best there. Kerfoot is only due another $8 million in cash over the final three years of his contract, which could make him easier to deal. Or he could stay as a winger, if the Leafs don’t get offers they like.
3. Pierre Engvall. Even though he only signed his deal in February, his $1.25 million cap hit is outsized for a fourth-line role in a flat-cap NHL. And there remain many questions over whether he can play centre. The Leafs may push to add more of a physical element to their depth forwards, too, and that’s not Engvall, despite his size.
4. Andreas Johnsson. Far lower value on the trade market than Kapanen given his age and higher cap hit, Johnsson would be a sell-low deal given the injury-plagued season he is coming off of. The Leafs still like Johnsson and feel he can rebound, so I doubt they just give him away in a deal unless they absolutely can’t free up the necessary cap space to acquire a D any other way.
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