The Leafs believe a "quality over quantity" approach to offense and defense is the key to their strong start. (Getty Images)
Maple Leafs fans hoping for their club to make a big splash in this summer's trade market are likely to be disappointed, says one Toronto pundit...And what's the future of the Ottawa Senators crease look like?
Toronto Maple Leafs fans hoping for their club to make a big splash in this summer's trade market are likely to be disappointed. The Toronto Star's Rosie DiManno believes the rest of the summer will be a quiet one for the Leafs.
DiManno speculates the “small-beer” moves made by Leafs GM Dave Nonis - signing Stephane Robidas and Mike Santorelli via free agency, swapping Carl Gunnarsson for Roman Polak, bringing back Leo Komarov and Matt Frattin - could be his only significant ones this off-season. She also claims no one's calling about Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf or unhappy backup goalie James Reimer, and she rejected talk of Martin Brodeur signing with the Leafs as mere rumor.
If DiManno is correct, that also means center Nazem Kadri and defenseman Jake Gardiner – fixtures in last season's trade rumor mill – will also return with the Leafs for 2014-15. That means the only Leaf facing an uncertain future is defenseman Cody Franson, who (along with Reimer) was among 20 NHL players to file for salary arbitration. Nonis reportedly offered up Franson to the Montreal Canadiens in a failed bid to acquire Josh Gorges, who nixed that move.
Should the Leafs reach an agreement with Franson on a new deal prior to his arbitration hearing (sometime between July 20 and Aug. 4), they could try to move him later in the summer. The Detroit Red Wings are in the market for a top-four defenseman who shoots right, which makes Franson a possible target.
The Wings, however, have their eye on bigger targets. Ansar Khan of mlive.com suggests Washington Capitals rearguard Mike Green could be available. Khan also claimed the Wings inquired about Franson, as well as Buffalo's Tyler Myers and Edmonton's Jeff Petry, who was recently re-signed to a one-year, $3-million contract.
The Leafs could also try moving Reimer if they re-sign him prior to his arbitration hearing, but this summer's market for goaltenders is a soft one. The 26-year old Manitoba native was linked to the Winnipeg Jets, but they appear content to enter 2014-15 with Ondrej Pavelec and signed recently Michael Hutchinson as their tandem.
SPEZZA’S DONE, GOALIES NEXT FOR SENS
Having resolved the Jason Spezza situation by shipping him to Dallas, goaltending could be the next issue facing the Ottawa Senators. The Ottawa Sun's Don Brennan points out Craig Anderson is eligible for unrestricted free agent status next summer, while Robin Lehner (currently negotiating a new contract with the Senators) is expected to become a starter in the near future.
Anderson or Lehner could attract interest in the trade market and a decent return for the Senators. In the wake of the recent news GM Bryan Murray is battling cancer, it's obviously not a front-burner decision for the Senators.
Its expected Anderson and Lehner will return in 2014-15 as the Senators tandem, but Brennan wonders what the future holds for the duo. If the Senators re-sign the 33-year-old Anderson, it throws Lehner future with the club into question. Should Lehner outplay Anderson, the latter could be shopped by the trade deadline.
Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).
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