Tonight on Hockey Night’s “Saturday Headlines” feature, Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman dropped some knowledge about what’s been a busy week for the Leafs, and what we might see from them in the days ahead. Now that we’re in the home stretch of deadline mania, here are some of the things you need to know.
First off, there’s been a lot of debate over the Reimer deal this afternoon, and whether Lamoriello and his crew should have brought back more in return to Toronto. A lot of people were disappointed. As Cox noted this evening, it appears as though there was only one team – the Sharks, of course – who were ever in trade negotiations with the Leafs for the 27-year-old goaltender. We’ve said a few times the goalie market is flushed, but maybe we didn’t realize at what level until now.
Also, it was pointed out that Reimer’s ask in contract negotiations with the Leafs (he’s a UFA this summer, remember) was shot down quickly when he apparently asked for up to $6-million annually. The Leafs then made the decision to move him and try to nab a draft pick. [Though we have to note Reimer’s agent has disputed that claim from Cox. We’ll see how this plays out.]
Jared Cowen’s time in Toronto looks like it’s coming to an end as quickly as it began. There have been rumblings of the Leafs trying to move him before the deadline, and as Chris Johnston of Sportnet pointed out this week, his contract structure offers some cap-strapped teams additional relief next season in a buyout situation. The fellas on Headlines tonight believe he’ll be moved by Monday, potentially to the Hawks in a swap that could include Bryan Bickell. Just two teams helping each other out by moving some dead money around.
Lastly – and this is big – Cox dropped the bomb that the Leafs are going to be bringing up William Nylander after the deadline, and he’ll finish out the regular season in the NHL.
Leafs fans can expect prospect William Nylander to be recalled soon after Monday’s trade deadline, and for the rest of the NHL season.
— Damien Cox (@DamoSpin) February 28, 2016
This would knock a year off his entry-level contract, but as a few folks have pointed out in the past, his UFA status down the road stays unchanged by staying under the 40-game limit. Two benefits for the Leafs here would be Nylander negotiating his next contract with less development time in, and staggers his and Marner’s negotiating years. Sounds like the team is going to go down that road.