I really thought Kyle Dubas’ big splash today would be trading Zaitsev and Brown, but I am a fool. The Toronto Maple Leafs traded centre Nazem Kadri, defensemen Calle Rosen and a sixth rounder in 2020 for Tyson Barrie (50% retained), Alexander Kerfoot and a third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.
My first reaction here is… oh my goodness. Let’s get into everyone involved.
Nazem Kadri is probably one of Leafs Nation’s most talked about players. Kadri was drafted seventh overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs back in 2009. He had a tough time in his early years with minimal faith from the organization, but he did pretty well as a part time NHL’er splitting time with the AHL’s Marlies.
After a fantastic 2012-13 season, Kadri cemented himself as a solid 40-50 point guy. His career went to the next level after the Matthews era begun. Kadri flourished in his new role as a shutdown centre, doing well at his role and scoring a career high 61 points.
Still, Kadri had been considered a dirty player for a while, and a hit against Tommy Wingels last year lead him to miss a chunk of the Leafs’ first round against Boston, which… yeah they lost. A year where Kadri slowed down even further ended in an even worse way. A retaliatory play on Jake DeBrusk due to a hit on Patrick Marleau lead him to miss the rest of the Leafs’ series… and they lost, again.
Kadri was a big part of this team, and was probably one, if not the best 3C in the league. Kadri brings an edge to the Avalanche and at 28, he definitely has a few years left in the tank at least. Kadri has three years left on a deal that goes $4.5 million against the cap. It’s a really good deal, especially if he can continue to produce and continue to play well defensively.
Calle Rosen spent most of the last two seasons in the AHL where he’s done great. He shined this last season however, with 46 points in 54 games, limited by injury and being called (“Calle”d) up. Rosen did okay on a heavily depleted Leafs’ blue line and the 25-year-old was expected to have to step up with the Leafs defence looking… bad.
Rosen is cheap, he’s signed for two more years at $750k and is okay at the NHL level. He’s a beast at the AHL level, however, and if he doesn’t get used as a bottom pairing or 13th defensemen, then he’s going to do great in the minors.
Barrie is exactly what the Leafs wanted. The right-handed defenseman has established himself as one of the best offensive defenseman in the league. He was one of 13 defensemen to hit the 50 point mark with 59 points in 78 games.
Barrie isn’t considered a great player defensively, but as a Leafs fan, I could care less. The Leafs’ defence was looking like an AHL squad aside from Rielly and Muzzin so adding Barrie is really good for this team. Barrie is entering the final year of a contract that will be $5.5 million against the cap. The Avs retained 50% of it so the Leafs will have $2.75 million of Barrie’s deal on their books. Barrie becomes a UFA after this deal.
Kerfoot is a pretty good young centre. The 24-year-old was signed out of the NCAA by the Avs after a career that ended in him being a Hobey Baker Finalist. He’s broken into the league with two 40+ point seasons and will probably only get better.
If someone surprises people in this trade, it’ll be Kerfoot because not only is he not considered one of the two most important pieces of this trade, but he has the opportunity to grow. Kerfoot was signed to a contract that carries a $4.5 million AAV over four years which is actually really good. The only issue I have is having to type out Alexander as opposed to Alex.
The Avs will send their 2020 fifth rounder while the Leafs will send their 2020 third rounder and not the one acquired from Columbus via Ottawa.
To oversimplfy this, the Avs swapped out their current 3C for a better one, one that can help strengthen their depth scoring. They also dealt from a position of strength in order to get it while moving a couple of round higher in the draft.
The Leafs got a player from a huge position of need, while swapping an older player for a younger player. All it cost was a depth player and a couple dozen spots in the draft.
The Leafs won this by a lot, but honestly, if Barrie walks next season and Kadri excels in Denver, it won’t be hard to change my opinion.