With the NHL trade deadline just under a week away, teams around the league are scrambling to find potential trades for their teams. One particular recent trade left some questions unanswered for the parties involved.
The San Jose Sharks had come to terms with the Toronto Maple Leafs for a trade that sent Raffi Torres to the Maple Leafs, as well as two second-round draft picks in 2017 and 2018. In return, Toronto sent over Roman Polak and Nick Spaling to San Jose.
Raffi Torres made quite a bit of news this season, after receiving a 41 game suspension following a illegal check in the preseason, immediately being waived by San Jose following the end of his suspension, and resigning with San Jose shortly after, but to their AHL feeder team, San Jose Barracuda.
It seemed clear that San Jose did not want Torres on their active NHL roster, but keeping him on the Barracuda awaiting the trade deadline may have been one of GM Doug Wilson’s smart moves of the season.
Yet, almost immediately after trading Raffi Torres to Toronto, the Maple Leafs reassigned back to the San Jose Barracuda, making him only an emergency call up.
Sharks’ newly acquired Nick Spaling may not be a star player, as one might expect from an exchange with Raffi Tores. However, Spaling’s seven points his last 35 games with the Leafs speaks that he will make a great fit into adding depth to San Jose’s fourth line.
Roman Polak, however may be a bigger key in the trade as he is known for his strength in the penalty kill. Both these players, however, are known to be very limited. They are known for strong defensive-zone plays, yet in Toronto, they struggled to help keep the puck where it needs to go, the offensive zone.
So who got the better end of the deal in this trade? Well, under normal circumstances trading two drafts picks for two players seems like a pretty decent deal for the party receiving the players. However, in this case the two players are fourth-liners and limited penalty killers.
Toronto now gets two second-round draft picks in 2017 and 2018. Nowadays, second round draft picks are still quite valuable. Doug Wilson may have been smart in holding on to Torres until the trade deadline, but not very much so in making the terms of his trade work in San Jose’s advantage. A Torres trade with two quite valuable draft picks do not add up to the players San Jose received in return.
Not the best trade decision by Doug Wilson. And while Toronto may have scored the beter end of the deal, it will be interesting to see how coach Pete DeBoer incorporates Polak and Spaling into San Jose’s lines in their hopes to return to the playoffs.
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