As Sean Avery, the budding Toronto Maple Leaf fan reported some major news for Leafs Nation. On his Instagram story which is usually reserved for yelling at people blocking the bike lane, Avery put into the universe a very interesting trade.
“Nazem Kadri for Jacob Trouba… you heard it here first”
I have no idea if he is legit or not (I’m gonna go with probably not), but Sean Avery says that Nazem Kadri has been traded for Jacob Trouba. pic.twitter.com/EXXugh8vAl
— 51Leafs (@51Leafs) June 5, 2019
For anyone ordering their Trouba Leafs jersey, maybe hold off for a little bit. Avery isn’t a trusted NHL insider, and this time of year false trade rumors are ripe across social media. That being said, just because it hasn’t been confirmed yet doesn’t mean it won’t happen eventually.
Why this trade could happen
The ‘peg first
Honestly, it makes sense for both teams. Let’s start with Winnipeg. The Jets have been looking for sustainable center depth over the past two seasons. They acquired Paul Stastny two deadlines ago and, despite picking up Kevin Hayes on the wing last season, haven’t been able to find a long-term solution.
Kadri would allow for Bryan Little to move to the wing or down the lineup as a third line center, which would make the top-6 for the Jets more dynamic and threatening. Kadri is currently miscast as a third line center on Toronto. More minutes on a second unit would give him a better chance to impact the game on a more regular basis.
A worthy sacrifice for Toronto?
The Leafs need D, we all know this. The most depth the Leafs have currently is at center, and with Matthews and Tavares soaking up the lions share of TOI, Kadri has suffered. The leafs can promote Nic Petan or Adam Brooks, make a trade, or dip into the free agent market for a third line center. What they can’t do is find a defenseman like Trouba down any of those same avenues.
As well, patience is wearing well thin with Nazem Kadri and his terrible decision making. Two playoffs in a row now Kadri has made the decision to board a Boston Bruin player, resulting in a three-game suspension for his hit on Wingles and rest-of-the-playoffs suspension for his hit on DeBrusk.
Kadri brings physicality and intensity, but he’s proven time and time again that he can’t stay on the right side of the line between clean and dirty. He also can’t stop himself from making these poor decisions when the stakes are high, aka in the playoffs. The Leafs are in their window right now and can’t afford to lose out because of one player’s selfish plays.
Oh yeah, the financial aspect
The reason that this deal could still be on, by the way, is all related to salary structure for Kadri. Of his $4.5 million cap hit $2 million is paid on July 1st as a signing bonus. If the Leafs presumably want to make this deal it’s likely Winnipeg is forcing them to wait until after July 1st to get out of paying the signing bonus.
I like the deal. Winnipeg gets controllable center depth and Toronto gets a young, exciting defenseman to possible pair with Morgan Rielly. It’s a win-win even if the Leafs have to wait and pay Kadri’s signing bonus. Oh, and Sean Avery will be a legit insider, too which is kind of hilarious.