BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 2 : Shawn Matthias #23 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates after the puck against Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden on February 2, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Shawn Matthias trade to Colorado comes less than two weeks after the Leafs shipped captain Dion Phaneuf to the Ottawa Senators in a nine-player transaction on Feb. 9.
The purge of the last-place Toronto Maple Leafs continues ahead of the NHL trade deadline.
The Leafs dealt left winger Shawn Matthias to the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday, picking up center Colin Smith and a fourth-round 2016 NHL draft pick in return.
The Matthias move comes less than two weeks after the Leafs shipped captain Dion Phaneuf to the Ottawa Senators in a nine-player transaction on Feb. 9.
Matthias, from nearby Mississauga, Ont., signed a one-year, $2.3-million deal with the Leafs in the off-season and will be a free agent in July. The 28-year-old became part of a contingent of veterans on expiring contract with the rebuilding team.
Goaltender James Reimer, right wingers P-A Parenteau and Brad Boyes, centers Nick Spaling and Michael Grabner and defenseman Roman Polak are among the soon-to-be unrestricted free agents that could be jettisoned before the Feb. 29 deadline.
Matthias has 75 goals and 148 points in 459 NHL games with Florida, Vancouver and Toronto. He recorded six goals and 17 points in 51 games with the Leafs. He mostly played on the wing, but has also been used as a center during his career. He was averaging 13 minutes of ice tim and will be used in a depth role for the Avalanche.
Colorado, which is eyeing a playoff return after missing out last season, held four-point advantage for the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference over the Minnesota Wild entering action Sunday. Without Matthias, the Avs play a road game against the Vancouver Canucks. The Wild were hosting Chicago in the Stadium Series game.
Smith is expected to report to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. He had 13 goals and 34 points in 54 games with the San Antonio Rampage, AHL affiliate of the Avalanche. The 22-year-old played his only career NHL game with the Avs last season.