The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded center Nazem Kadri, defenseman Calle Rosen and a third-round draft pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defenseman Tyson Barrie, forward Alex Kerfoot and a sixth-round draft pick in 2020. The Avalanche will also retain 50 per cent of Barrie’s salary ($5.5 million).
The Leafs get:
Barrie, an offensive-minded blueliner who has averaged 58 points and 27 power-play points over the past two seasons. Offensively, he should more than help fill the void of the departing Jake Gardiner. Barrie has just one year remaining on his contract, but it is at a very favorable cap hit of $2.75 million for the Leafs (remember, the Avs retain the other half).
Kerfoot, a middle-6 center/winger who has reached the 40-point mark in both of his seasons with the Avalanche. He is currently an RFA.
The Leafs also receive some extra cap space from trading Kadri’s contract ($4.5 million cap hit), although how much that would be depends on how much Kerfoot receives.
The Avalanche get:
Kadri, a versatile middle-6 forward whose production has fallen for two consecutive seasons (from 61 points in 2016-17 to 55 points in 2017-18 to 44 points in 2018-19). He’s an effective two-way player, but he is unfortunately also known for taking untimely suspensions during the playoffs because of his edgy style of play.
Rosen, who has spent most of his two seasons in the Toronto organization with the AHL’s Marlies. He did score 46 points in 54 games in the AHL last season, so his chances of making the Leafs before the trade seemed to improve.
Leafs fans seem much happier about this deal than Avalanche fans. They acquire Barrie, who has been a top-10 scoring defenseman over the last two seasons, while parting with Kadri, whose scoring has dropped with many Leafs’ fans wanting to move on from him. There could also be some additional cap space as well. However, Barrie also has only one year remaining on his contract, and he might not fit into the Leafs’ plans (or more importantly, cap space) after that. So there is a “go for it” mentality with this trade for the Buds.
One reason this might be a surprising trade is that the Leafs already have a bona fide PP1 defenseman in Morgan Rielly. He should stay on the first power-play unit, but Barrie should provide more competition than Gardiner did if Mike Babcock keeps a 4F-1D power-play arrangement. If both Rielly and Barrie man the point on the first-unit power play, one forward could lose power-play time. William Nylander would most likely be the odd man out, though Kadri saw more time on the first unit than Nylander did in 2018-19.
The Avs lose a key piece in Barrie, who they might not have been able to sign over the next 12 months. This trade elevates top prospect Cale Makar (Dobber Prospects profile) into a first-unit power-play role immediately. He demonstrated in his brief playoff stint (six points in ten games) that he might be ready. With the Avs’ stacked top unit of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog, Makar could be in for a huge rookie season. There may be some argument that Samuel Girard will run the first-unit power play instead, but Makar has the higher upside. This might turn into a competition if Makar hits the rookie wall, though.
Barrie leaving could speed up the process of first-round pick Bowen Byram joining the Avs, but there is still no reason to rush the 18-year-old. Expect him to stay with the Vancouver Giants for at least one more season.
Potential Avalanche lines:
— Adrian Dater (@adater) July 1, 2019
Kadri would fit in as a second-line center, which could bump Tyson Jost to the third line. However, Jost will likely move to the wing (according to Joe Sakic), so the move might not affect his value. The Avs had already traded center Carl Soderberg to Arizona, so you could assume that Kadri will move into Soderberg’s old spot.
Likewise, Kerfoot could move into Kadri’s old spot as the third-line center in Toronto. Newly acquired Jason Spezza still seems destined to be the fourth-line center, like he was when he was first signed earlier in the day.
Players this helps, in order:
Players this hurts, in order:
Rasmus Sandin (more likely to be back in the AHL in 2019-20)
Timothy Liljegren (same as Sandin)
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