Latest posts by Omar White (see all)
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The Leafs Need to…
Sell! From the deals that have been made, it seems like the GMs are starting to get desperate in finding ways to improve their teams. Everyday more teams that were originally in a playoff hunt may turn to the side of the seller. Or conversely, teams that are on the outside looking in are making deals to see the playoffs. Buffalo lost both games over the weekend to Arizona and Colorado. Now sitting 7 points out, they may decide to move out pieces at the deadline for assets. The bottom pairing of Hunwick and Polak have been polarizing figures in leafs nation. At the beginning of the season, they were defensive liabilities. In the last stretch of games, they have been one of the Leafs most reliable pairing. In the playoffs having depth in defence is always a good thing. The Leafs need to start taking advantage of the market with two days left. They were able to get two second round picks from San Jose last year for Polak. Is he worth that? Maybe not, but at the trade deadline, teams over pay for what they want.
Power of Retention
The cap space that the Leafs have can be a weapon. Carolina traded Ron Hainsey to Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay traded Ben Bishop to the Kings and Arizona traded Martin Hanzal to the Wild. There’s been an interesting trend occurring in some of these recent trends: retained salary. Carolina retained 50% of Hainsey’s salary, Tampa Bay retained 20% of Bishop’s, and Arizona retained 50% of Hanzal’s. It seems like the motto of the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline is, “Retain salary, and we give you good things”. Arizona received a first-round pick (2017), 2nd round pick (2018), and a conditional 4th (2019). With all due respect to Hanzal, he has 26 points this season and is projected to be on Minnesota’s third line. If Hanzal can give you that, imagine what a team looking for depth defensive penalty killers can get you.
The Leafs have have the potential to make a move with the $15 million in cap space they have. If a Polak is deal made, Marchenko, who has been a steady player in his past two games, can replace him. And yes, dare I say it, Marincin can get back in the lineup as a result of a Hunwick trade. Nobody knows what the Leafs are planning to do on the days leading up to Wednesday. It was said numerous times that the success of the team will not get in the way of staying true to the rebuild, which we are still kind of in believe it or not. With Hunwick and Polak being UFA’s at the end of the deadline, it would be beneficial to try to get something for them.
What do you think?
Will Hunlak still be a pair on the Leafs after Wednesday? What can be the possible return for either of them? Let me know what you think down below.