“There’s been a lot of talk about Kasperi Kapanen, but the sense around the NHL is the only way Toronto moves him now is in a big deal. Something that makes them significantly better,” said Elliotte Friedman in his 31 Thoughts post on Wednesday.
So, what exactly does that mean?
There have been no shortage of rumors about the Maple Leafs need to do something at the deadline if they stand any hope of competing in this year’s playoff race. A team that is heavily stacked at forward, their need is at the backup goalie position and on the blue line. Is Kapanen a piece that works in this scenario?
Blueliners available at this year’s deadline include T.J. Brodie, Jeff Petry, Sami Vatanen, Alec Martinez, Brenden Dillon, Marco Scandella and a couple of others. Would Toronto be interested in any of these players, more specifically, would they move Kapanen for any of these players?
A recent interview with Pierre LeBrun of TSN suggested GM Kyle Dubas is looking at defensemen who have term left on their deals. That takes players like Dillon, Vatanen, Brodie and Scandella potentially off the table. What’s left?
Kapanen Has a Great Contract
Remember, Kapanen is property of the Maple Leafs for the next two more seasons after this one at a reasonable cap hit of $3.2 million per season. That’s a valuable trade asset that you can only move once, thus it better be for the right player.
Could we be talking about more than one player? Might fans be lucky enough to see a blockbuster kind of deal that doesn’t happen all that often in the NHL? Could we be talking about multiple players with terms on their deals and essentially changing the structure of some of these teams.
Rumors have suggested, maybe there’s something brewing between the Flames and Maple Leafs. Could we see something like:
To TOR: Sam Bennett (2.55M) Travis Hamonic (3.85M) To CGY: Kasperi Kapanen (3.20M) Cody Ceci (4.5M) Jeremy Bracco
The problem with a trade like this is that some insiders have suggested Hamonic is unmovable while others have suggested it’s a matter of time before he’s traded.
Instead, maybe there’s a deal where Toronto gets their backup netminder and potential starter down the road in Alexandar Georgiev plus a forward to take Kapanen’s spot? Most reports are that a one-for-one deal isn’t on Dubas’ radar as they see Kapanen as the more valued commodity in that deal.
What about in San Jose where the Sharks are actively seeking a first-round pick? Could we see a whopper of a deal where Kapanen and a first are moved for a player like Brent Burns? Now that would be a blockbuster.
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