The Toronto Maple Leafs have bad contracts they want to get rid of and, yet again, the Ottawa Senators are happy to oblige as a dumping ground.
We found out on Saturday that the Leafs and Sens were going to link up in a Nikita Zaitsev for Cody Ceci swap that would wait until the much-maligned Russian defender’s $3 million signing bonus was paid on July 1. On Sunday, Elliotte Freidman reported that Connor Brown will also be a part of the deal.
There is also the Ottawa/Toronto trade that will send Connor Brown and Nikita Zaitsev to the Senators for Cody Ceci.
Zaitsev has a cap hit of $4.5 million for five more seasons so getting out from under his deal is massive for the Leafs. Brown, while a solid player, was overpaid in his role on a deep Leafs team at $2.1 million. All told, the Leafs will throw $6.6 million on the dump that is the Ottawa Senators as they try to climb to the salary cap floor.
The next thing we’ll figure out is what Kyle Dubas’ plans are with Cody Ceci. He was qualified by the Sens and can go to arbitration with the Leafs. There’s also a chance that the Leafs flip him to another team with a need on their blueline. Regardless, I have a hard time imagining Ceci suiting up for Toronto next year.
The OTT-TOR trade that will send Nikita Zaitsev and Connor Brown to the Sens for Cody Ceci should be consummated tomorrow morning once TOR pays Zaitsev’s $3M signing bonus. At least six pieces (players or picks) included but the primaries are Zaitsev, Brown and Ceci. https://t.co/Rwx0hoF8fs
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2019
Much like we saw a few years ago when the Sens did the Leafs a favour by taking on Dion Phaneuf’s albatross contract, there’ll be a bunch of random other players involved in the deal. Buckle up!