When you start the season winning 6 out of 14 games it’s not surprising that there is some talk of shakeup. Elliotte Friedman gave us a couple of names to consider in his 31 Thoughts column…
8. Evan Rodrigues has played just six games for Buffalo. There are teams who really liked what they saw of him last season. He’d be perfect for both Ottawa and Toronto, although I’m not sure the Sabres would want to help the Maple Leafs.
9. Jake Muzzin’s health could change this, but Toronto would move Martin Marincin.
On Evan Rodrigues
Evan Rodrigues is probably best known for riding shotgun to Jack Eichel at Boston College. He had a 61 point season playing with Eichel there and that was good enough for the Sabres to bring him on board.
In the past three seasons for the Sabres he’s hovered around the 25-30 point range, and hasn’t broken the 10 goal mark in his career. He’s not particularly big or physical and is in the last year of a $2M/yr contract that will see him become an arbitration eligible restricted free agent next summer.
The story doesn’t become any more clear when you look at his expected goals or shot differientals. Nothing particularly stands out as a reason to target Rodrigues unless the Leafs are dumping some salary on Buffalo, but like Elliotte said, there really isn’t any reason for Buffalo to help Toronto, and if they aren’t do it on a targeted trade for Rodrigues, the Leafs aren’t dumping salary.
This seems like a potentially strange move, but it doesn’t look like it will happen.
Marincin hasn’t been very good this year, and doesn’t seem to show the same promise that Kevin Gravel has, let alone the fact that the Leafs might be trying to find a way to bring Rasmus Sandin back. Marincin cleared waivers last season and there’s no real reason to believe he wouldn’t again this year.
Probably doesn’t hurt to see whether there is a mutually beneficial deal out there for the Leafs, especially when there are teams like the Jets that are resorting to playing Luca Sbisa.
The fact that Muzzin’s injury or potential of one has stalled things is interesting as the Leafs don’t seem particularly short on depth kicking around on the Marlies, but Marincin has certainly become a safety blanket for the Leafs.
Nothing happens with either of these players, and probably nothing happens with the Leafs at all until the Hyman return is imminent. There is still the matter of figuring out what becomes of Spezza, Shore, Petan, and/or Marincin. Petan looks like he may stick with the Leafs to the point he’ll require waivers again and if Spezza is on the outs in Toronto, I’m willing to bet that every avenue will be exhausted to keep him out of the minors. As for Marincin, a move could be likely, I just wouldn’t get particularly excited about what the return would be.