I don’t know who’s calling the shots In Toronto these days, but whoever it is should keep up the good work.
As you probably already know, the Leafs traded Daniel Winnik to the Pittsburgh Penguins this afternoon in exchange for a 2016 second round pick, a 2015 fourth round pick, and depth forward Zach Sill. In relation to what other second line/third line tweeners have gotten recently, that’s a pretty good haul.
Take Sean Bergenheim for instance, who was traded from the Florida Panthers along with a 2016 seventh round pick to the Minnesota Wild for a 2016 3rd round pick.
Jiri Tlusty, traded from Carolina to Winnipeg just moments before the Winnik deal, landed the Hurricanes a 2016 third round pick and a conditional 2015 sixth round pick. We’re still not sure what the condition on that last pick is, but if it’s a 2015 as opposed to a 2016, I imagine it has something to do with Winnipeg qualifying for the playoffs.
Going back to last year’s deadline, the Ottawa Senators turned Ales Hemsky into a third and fifth round pick, Florida got a third and a fifth for Marcel Goc, Calgary flipped Lee Stempniak for a third, and Dustin Penner got the Anaheim Ducks a fourth.
Out of all of those middle-six forwards, only Winnik got a second round pick (and a fourth).
As for Sill, let’s be realistic. The 26-year old Truro, Nova Scotia native is a pending unrestricted free agent, and has a goal and two assist in 42 games played this year. If he sticks with the Leafs organization past this year, it’d likely be as AHL depth. Or, if the Leafs are really committed to the rebuild, their new second line centre.
Nonis says the Penguins were very aggressive on Winnik the last 10 days. Their offer continued to get better.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) February 25, 2015
You could say that a 2016 second round pick is less valuable than a 2015 second round pick, but it’s pretty much all the same to Toronto. They’ll need to put an emphasis on stocking up on prospects and picks not just this year, but next (and also many years after that). In light on James Mirtle’s tweet above, maybe it wouldn’t have been insane to suggest that holding out a bit longer would have resulted in a better deal, but that’s a far from certain. The Penguins could have just as easily said, “here’s our best offer – take it or we’re trading these assets somewhere else.”
If the Leafs can somehow acquire a 2015 second round pick before Monday’s trade deadline, that’d be great. Toronto traded their own second rounder to Los Angeles in the Jonathan Bernier deal last year, but would do well to recoup a pick in the 30-60 in one of the strongest, deepest drafts in recent memory.
Still, if you’re a Leafs fan, you should be thrilled with today’s deal. When reports came out earlier in the week that Toronto sought a second and third round pick for Winnik’s services, everyone thought that was insane. Turns out those reports weren’t far off at all.