The Toronto Maple Leafs are involved in several trade discussions as general manager Kyle Dubas is trying to upgrade his roster while creating some more flexibility financially. There’s a number of players who have been discussed in deals this season, however according to David Pagnotta of Fourth Period, the Leafs are trying to currently move defenseman Travis Dermott and forward Nick Ritchie.
Both players have been in and out of the lineup in Toronto and have been linked to trade rumors throughout the season. Dermott was named as trade bait back in November when the Maple Leafs were open to moving one of their defenseman and it turns out he’s stayed on the trade board into 2022. So far in 27 games, the mobile defenseman has recorded only four points while mostly playing on the bottom pair. He’s under contract through next season at $1.5 million on the cap. The Detroit Red Wings have shown interest in Dermott in the past, perhaps they circle back here.
As for Ritchie, he was signed before the season started and unfortunately he hasn’t been able to overcome his slow start. The Leafs were high on the bruising forward as head coach Sheldon Keefe coached Ritchie in junior, but frankly it hasn’t worked out for either side.
Ritchie has been a healthy scratch multiple times this season and is now a member of the taxi squad. In the 33 games he’s appeared in the former first-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks has recorded only nine points. He’s coming off a season in Boston where he scored 15 goals in 56 games, resulting in a two-year deal at $2.5 million annual value. His contract is actually hurting his trade value as he’s only paid $1.7 million in cash this season and $3.3 million next season.
Dubas and company are going to be in tough to move Ritchie but should have a decent trade market for Dermott as depth on defense is hard to come by these days. It’s likely the Leafs add in a sweetener or two to any Ritchie deal as his trade value has declined significantly this season. Toronto has big dreams to make some moves, but the salary cap and some disappointing trade chips are getting in the way at the moment.
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