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2021 NHL Trade Deadline: The Maple Leafs probably won’t make a move. – Pension Plan Puppets



We are just under a week away from the 2021 NHL trade deadline and all anyone can talk about is the possible moves Kyle Dubas could make for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Should we be looking at this week as an important time for building the Maple Leafs? Last year the Leafs stood pat as punishment for a team who couldn’t be bothered to try hard and show up for practice after they lost to a damn zamboni driver.

This year, as noted above, there’s plenty of chatter about adding a goalie due to Frederik Andersen’s injury this season, or some depth players to help round out the line up. Depth adds are usually what most people talk about with the Maple Leafs, with the top six solidified and the salary cap pushed to the limit. Have they made major moves this late in the season? Let’s take a look back at the week leading up to trade deadlines of GMs Kyle Dubas and Lou Lamoriello.

February 24th, 2020

Last year’s deadline was done for the Maple Leafs because in the eyes of Kyle Dubas the team didn’t deserve any help.

We’ve shown enough throughout our run and since Sheldon has been at the helm to give you a great sense of optimism. We also have some games where we rightfully, I think, draw the doubts of a lot of people. The best way to put it is to use a Jekyll and Hyde way to describe it. I think it is up to our entire program — starting with me on to Sheldon and onto the players — to find our way out of it and be the best version of ourselves that we can every single day for our organization and our fan base in order to get where we want to go.

At the 2020 deadline the Maple Leafs did nothing but small, minor-league moves.

2020 Trade Deadline

Max Veronneau Michael Hutchinson
Denis Malgin Jordan Schmaltz
Miikka Salomaki Martins Dzierkals
2020 5th round pick Ben Harpur
Matt Lorito Mason Marchment
Calle Rosen Aaron Luchuk
2021 Conditional 6th round pick

All the names coming in and going out are nobodies. Heck, Martins Dzierkals was just a body thrown into the three way deal with Vegas and Chicago to make it legal. The 5th round pick acquired was originally the Leafs’ pick in the first place, so they just got their own back (it was used on Dmitry Ovchinnikov). A big ol’ nothing of a trade deadline. The Leafs’ big moves came well ahead of time, bringing in Jack Campbell and Kyle Clifford at the start of February.

February 25th, 2019

Two years ago was an even bigger pile of nothing. The day before the deadline the Leafs acquired Nick Baptiste from the Nashville Predators for “future considerations” and on deadline day itself the Leafs picked up Nic Petan from the Winnipeg Jets* for the oft forgotten Par Lindholm. Baptiste would end up in an AHL trade with Belleville for Miles Gendron, and Petan floats around between the Leafs and Marlies.

February 26th, 2018

Again only two trades in the week ahead of the deadline; Eric Fehr was sent to San Jose for a 2020 7th round pick (John Fusco) and on deadline day itself we got an actual trade that mattered:

From Montreal: Tomas Plekanec, Kyle Baun
From Toronto: Rinat Valiev, Kerby Rychel, 2018 2nd round pick

A real post-rebuild trade bringing in a veteran for the playoffs, Plekanec didn’t bring much in the regular season but in the series vs Boston he played like the Plekanec we knew he could be and scored four points in seven games. He’d go back to Montreal to play his 1,000th game the next season before leaving the NHL after that moment to play in the Cezch Republic. Kyle Baun was some guy.

The only big loss in the trade was the second round pick – Rychel and Valiev never panned out to NHL players. Montreal would select Jacob Olofsson, who is still playing in Sweden.

March 1st, 2017

A late deadline in 2017 gave the Maple Leafs time to make moves they thought would push them from builders to playoff participants, and participate they did.

Just over a week ahead of the deadline they moved Viktor Loov to the Devils for Sergey Kalinin who left the Marlies for the KHL as soon as he could.

Then five days ahead of the deadline they acquired Brian Boyle from the Lightning for Byron Froese and a 2017 2nd round pick (Alexander Volkov, later traded to the Ducks). Boyle wasn’t a huge impact for the Leafs and didn’t much care to be here. He would leave for New Jersey in the off-season.

On deadline day it was what the Leafs thought was their big move. They brought in Eric Fehr, Steven Oleksy, and a 2017 4th round pick (Vladislav Kara) for the often scratched internet hockey legend Frank Corrado. Fehr promptly got himself injured, and Oleksy never played in the NHL again. But, hey, Corrado got his much deserved full time NHL career that the Leafs were holding him back from, right? Right?

February 29th, 2016

Leap day gave the Maple Leafs an extra day to clear out some extra players they had lying around who were too good for the tanking team. After Dion Phaneuf was moved to the Senators at the start of February, the Leafs waited until the deadline to move a few more bodies.

February 21st: The Maple Leafs move Shawn Matthias to the Colorado Avalanche for Colin Smith and a 2016 4th round pick (Keaton Middleton). Matthias was a tank-year body, one of those guys who played every game ahead of the deadline and you forget was on the team. Colin Smith was an AHLer, and Keaton Middleton looks to be the same.

February 22nd: Maple Leafs send Roman Polak and Nick Spaling to the San Jose Sharks for Raffi Torres, a 2017 2nd (went to Anaheim, selected Maxime Comtois), and a 2018 2nd (Sean Durzi). The first of two trades with the Sharks, the Maple Leafs did Polak a favour and sent him to a contender while the Leafs would tell Torres to stay home. They would use both of the picks in trades – the 2017 pick was in the Frederik Andersen trade and the 2018 pick would become Sean Durzi who would be traded for Jake Muzzin.

February 27th, 2018: The Leafs hooked up with the Sharks once again, this time sending James Reimer and Jeremy Morin out west in exchange for Alex Stalock, Ben Smith, and a 2018 3rd round pick (Riley Stotts). Reimer would join Polak on the Sharks as they went to the Stanley Cup Final that year (losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins). Stalock would not be played by the Leafs in what he calls the “lowest point of my career”. Ben Smith was an NHL/AHL tweener, and Riley Stotts is still in the WHL.

February 28th, 2018: The next day the Leafs traded Daniel Winnik away for the second trade deadline in a row. The Leafs send Winnik and a 2016 5th round pick (Beck Malenstyn) to the Capitals for Brooks Laich, Connor Carrick, and a 2016 2nd round pick (Carl Grundstrom). The Capitals needed to move Laich for cap room, and Carrick was an uneven player at the time so he was easy to move.

Laich would later be assigned to the Marlies and waived for speaking out about his demotion, and Carrick would be waived a few seasons later and claimed by the Dallas Stars. Grundstrom would be moved to the LA Kings for Jake Muzzin.

Huh. Both prospects moved for Muzzin came out of this deadline. That’s kinda neat.

Those are all the week of moves from the Maple Leafs, and none of them were earth shaking. Parts of those trades became pieces of huge trades later on that gave us daily players for this team, but those moves weren’t done at the trade deadline.

The Maple Leafs in the cap era have never made a significant move at the trade deadline. The last time they made a trade that I would consider huge in the week leading up to the trade deadlines would be in the ahead of the lost season in 2004 when they brought in Ron Francis and Brian Leetch, and the deadline before that when they brought back Doug Gilmour and added Phil Housley and Glen Wesley.

Ah, the pre-cap days of insane deadline moves, I miss you.

The Maple Leafs could surprise us, but right now I’d bet on a quiet trade deadline.

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Rafael Nadal rallies from set down to advance in Barcelona



Top seed Rafael Nadal rallied from a set back to beat Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 on Wednesday in the second round at the Barcelona Open in Spain.

Nadal lost serve in the opening game of the match and wasn’t able to break Ivashka’s serve throughout the first set. He won just 70.6 percent of points on his first serve, was broken twice and had two double faults in an uncharacteristically poor showing on service in the opening set.

By the second set, he had righted his serve, winning 86.7 percent of points on his first serve in the second set and 83.3 percent in the third. He didn’t face a break point in either set.

In other action, No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, No. 3 Andrey Rublev of Russia, No. 4 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, No. 6 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain and No. 10 Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada were among those advancing.

No. 9 Fabio Fognini of Italy defaulted for verbal abuse. He was losing 6-0, 4-4 to Zapata Miralles of Spain when the line judge reported him for swearing after a foot fault. He had been warned earlier in the match

Serbia Open

Top seed and home-country favorite Novak Djokovic needed just 68 minutes to top South Korean Soon-woo Kwon 6-1, 6-3 and advance to the quarterfinals in Belgrade, Serbia.

Djokovic capitalized on five of his eight service break opportunities in the win. In the next round, he’ll meet fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic, the eighth seed, who needed three sets to oust Arthur Rinderknech of France 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Also advancing was the No. 2 seed, Matteo Berrettini, who defeated fellow Italian Marco Cecchinato 6-4, 6-3. Fifth seed Filip Krajinovic beat Nikola Milojevic 6-1, 6-1 in an all-Serb match.


(Field Level Media)

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Ice hockey-Women’s world championships cancelled due to COVID-19



(Reuters) -The women’s ice hockey world championships set to be played in Halifax and Truro, Nova Scotia have been cancelled because of a surge in COVID-19 cases in Canada, Hockey Canada said on Wednesday.

The announcement came one day before the 10 teams were to arrive to begin their quarantine ahead of the May 6-16 tournament.

“This is very disappointing news to receive with just a few weeks until the tournament was to begin,” said International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel in a statement.

“We strongly believe that we had the adequate safety measures in place. In the end, we must accept the decision of the government.”

The IIHF and Hockey Canada were informed by the Nova Scotia provincial government on Wednesday that the 10-country tournament could not go ahead due to safety concerns associated with COVID-19.

Still the news came as a shock after Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer had 24 hours earlier given the event the thumbs- up.

“At five o’clock this morning we were full go and at 7:30 am we were not,” explained Hockey Canada chief executive officer Tom Renney. “That is the way the world is right now and there is only so much we can control.

“At the end of the day there is a bigger game than the one we play here and quite honestly it is about the safety of the general public.”

The cancellation was another blow for the women’s game that has endured a number of recent setbacks, including the folding of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.

It was also the second consecutive year the Nova Scotia world championships have been stopped by COVID-19.

“Definitely, a little bit of disbelief, a little shock, a lot of emotion,” said Canadian coach Gina Kingsbury, who pulled some players off the ice to deliver the bad news. “This is a group that has been through a lot this past year and two years so they are definitely familiar with disappointing news.”

Both the IIHF and Hockey Canada indicated they plan to play the world championships this year, possibly this summer, in Canada.

“Our intention, and that of the IIHF, is to reconnect with this event as a world championship in 2021 in Canada,” said Renney. “That’s our number one objective. We have every desire to hold this event in Canada.”

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, Editing by Ed Osmond)

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Nick Foligno hopes to make Leafs debut Thursday vs. Jets



Former Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno is eyeing Thursday as his potential debut for the Toronto Maple Leafs, he said on an podcast.

The Maple Leafs acquired the left wing on April 11 in a three-team trade with Columbus and the San Jose Sharks, with each team retaining a portion of Foligno’s salary so he can join the North Division leaders for their Stanley Cup pursuit. Toronto visits the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.

Because he moved from the U.S. to Canada, Foligno was required to quarantine for seven days before joining his new team for practices and games, in accordance with COVID-19 protocols.

“Seven days of just nothing, and then you jump right into it, it would be nice to probably have a practice, but I rather just that — let’s go,” Foligno said on “The Chirp with Darren Millard.” “I’m here to play for them and get this thing rolling, so I probably prefer just to jump right into it and get going.”

If the Leafs put Foligno in their lineup Thursday at Winnipeg, he’ll get to play against his former Columbus teammate, Pierre-Luc Dubois.

Foligno played eight-plus seasons for the Blue Jackets and his first five NHL seasons with the Ottawa Senators. In 950 career games, he has tallied 203 goals and 279 assists.

The Maple Leafs sent their 2021 first-round pick and 2022 fourth-rounder to Columbus and their 2021 fourth-rounder to San Jose in order to add Foligno to their stacked group of forwards, which includes NHL goal-scoring leader Auston Matthews, John Tavares and Mitch Marner.


Foligno’s father, Mike Foligno, was an NHL veteran who played parts of four seasons for the Leafs


(Field Level Media)

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