Maple Leafs Keep Pace at NHL Trade Deadline; Senators, Canadiens Look to Future

Maple Leafs Keep Pace at NHL Trade Deadline; Senators, Canadiens Look to Future
By Cecil Peters

The NHL’s trade deadline has come and gone so what you see with NHL rosters is now what you get.

In Eastern Canada, the Toronto Maple Leafs were quiet on the day of the deadline, doing the bulk of their work on Sunday with the acquisition of Mark Giordano. The Montreal Canadiens made a couple of moves to stock their cupboards with prospects and draft picks, while the Ottawa Senators also made a couple of small moves as they too look toward the future.

All eyes in Toronto were on the goalie situation, and GM Kyle Dubas was clearly interested in making something happen on that front, as he was likely in on Marc-Andre Fleury, who ended up going to Minnesota.

Dubas signed depth goalie Harri Sateri to a contract over the weekend, but ended up losing him on waivers to the Arizona Coyotes, leaving Toronto right where they were prior to the deadline in net, with Petr Mrazek and Erik Kallgren holding down the fort until starter Jack Campbell returns from injury.

The biggest move by the Leafs came Sunday as they landed Giordano from Seattle, along with depth forward Colin Blackwell, for two second-round picks and a third-round selection. Giordano should slot in nicely on the back end for Toronto as his long-time partner from Calgary, T.J. Brodie, is also on the Toronto roster.

Giordano gives Toronto some experience it was lacking on the blueline with Jake Muzzin out. Once Muzzin returns, the Leafs will be able to roll out three quality pairings. Travis Dermott was moved to the Vancouver Canucks for a third-round pick as well. With Giordano in the picture there was no apparent spot for him on the roster.

Coming over with Giordano was Blackwell, who has had a really strong year on a disappointing Seattle squad. He has 17 points in 49 games, mostly filling a third-line role. With Jason Spezza, Kyle Clifford and Wayne Simmonds all in the lineup nightly, the bottom six of the Leafs was quite slow and vulnerable. Blackwell injects speed into that group and is still on the right side of 30.

The Atlantic Division playoff teams all made big moves with Claude Giroux going to Florida, Nick Paul and Brandon Hagel going to Tampa Bay and Hampus Lindholm going to Boston, so the Giordano trade was a necessary answer for the Maple Leafs to keep pace.

Toronto Still at +1200 to Win Cup

Oddsmakers believe they have done so as the Leafs remain +1200 to win the Cup, the same NHL betting odds they had before the deadline. The inability to address the goaltending may come back to hurt them, but holding on to their first-round pick this year was a priority for Dubas.

For a team right in the middle of its window to contend, the pressure is now on Campbell to prove his general manager was right to have faith in him.

The Leafs are trying to become the first Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup since 1993. Toronto currently has the second-best odds of any Canadian team to win the Cup.

Ontario sports betting is currently only available at PROLINE+. But that will change in about two weeks.

The full and competitive iGaming in Ontario is expected to launch on April 4.

Canadian Team Odds to Win Stanley Cup

Calgary Flames+900
Toronto Maple Leafs+1200
Edmonton Oilers+3000
Vancouver Canucks+10000
Winnipeg Jets+13000
Ottawa Senators+100000
Montreal Canadiens+100000
*Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook Ontario

Canadiens Keep Selling

Montreal was clearly in sell mode, and it did just that, sending forward Artturi Lehkonen to the Colorado Avalanche for prospect Justin Barron and a second-round pick, and moving defenseman Brett Kulak to Edmonton for William Lagesson and a conditional second-rounder.

The Canadiens’ biggest haul came in the weeks before the deadline when they moved pending UFA blueliner Ben Chiarot to Florida for a prospect and first- and fourth-round draft picks. Getting a first rounder for him was their biggest win of the deadline, but the return for Kulak was also better than expected.

The Lehkonen deal was more intriguing, as he was under team control as a RFA after this season, but moving on from him was a good indication they plan on having a rebuild that lasts a couple of seasons.

Goalie Andrew Hammond was also sent to New Jersey. With Jake Allen returning to full health and Carey Price potentially coming back soon, too, there was just no reason to hold on to him, and he’ll head to New Jersey with a chance to play some NHL games. All in all, a productive trade deadline for new Montreal GM Kent Hughes.

Senators Very Active

Ottawa’s moves were much more intriguing. Adding Travis Hamonic gives the Senators the top four defender they were after, but for a rebuilding club, sending a third-round pick to acquire him raised some eyebrows around the league.

They also sent Nick Paul to Tampa Bay after being unable to come to terms on a contract extension with him, receiving a fourth-round pick and depth forward Mathieu Joseph in return. The return was modest but for a player that wasn’t going to re-sign, getting anything back at this point in the season is a win.

Finally, Ottawa sent depth defenseman Josh Brown to Boston for Zach Senyshyn and a fifth-round pick. Brown wasn’t going to re-sign so the trade made sense. The most important move the Senators made all day wasn’t a trade, but was the contract extension given to goalie Anton Forsberg.

Forsberg has clearly been their best goalie this season with a record above .500 and a 2.77 GAA in 31 appearances. At best, this gives them a starting goalie at a really cheap salary and at worst it gives them a capable backup for the next three years. With Matt Murray’s health unknown, getting some stability in net was a big plus for Ottawa.

The Senators clearly already have an eye on next season and getting some more NHL quality players in the fold was a win, but the price paid for Hamonic when he was available on waivers earlier in the year feels like a whiff.

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Contributors

Cecil Peters
Senior Betting Analyst

Cecil Peters is a Senior Betting Analyst for OntarioBets.com. A professional sports bettor in Canada, Cecil specializes in analyzing the latest odds impacting professional sports teams in Canada, with a focus on Toronto's favorite players and teams including the Raptors, Blue Jays & Maple Leafs.