O'Reilly deal gives Leafs room to make another move before deadline
Maple Leafs' general manager Kyle Dubas worked some magic to trade for Ryan O'Reilly at only 25% of his full salary, with the St. Louis Blues (50%) and the Minnesota Wild (25%) picking up the rest. The deal, which saw the Blues receive a 2023 first-round pick, a 2023 third-round pick, a 2024 second-round pick, forward Mikhail Abramov and forward Adam Gaudette, puts the Leafs in position to make another trade before the NHL deadline on March 3.
SAM CHANG: It's a great addition. I thought the best part of the deal was the 75% retained.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yeah!
SAM CHANG: That's actually an outrageous amount of salary retention.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: They're the third team involved.
AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: Mm-hmm.
OMAR: I don't know. I'm literally-- I'm waiting for Tampa to do something because Tampa always does something. Even-- I saw somewhere that Boston is going to get Gavrikov. And I'm like,
JULIAN MCKENZIE: That could still happen.
OMAR: How? This was the-- but I thought this was the-- we don't have any more picks and prospects, so we're going to go for it. How? How? So yeah, so I don't know. Hopefully, I think-- you know what? Whatever happens--
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yeah.
OMAR: And I'm saying this now. Whatever happens, I cannot look Kyle Dubas in the face and say, at least he didn't try. The man made a move. He showed the roster, you know what? I believe in you, here.
So it's on them. It is on them.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: You could say it's been on them for a while. But--
OMAR: True, but it is even more on them. There's an extra layer of on them now.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: OK.
OMAR: And we'll see how things go, hopefully, he says optimistically.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Do you think they're going to do anything else?
OMAR: Yeah, actually, yeah. I think-- to Sam's point, the retention on it was puzzling for me because they didn't have to have his cap hit so low. Right now on his cap-friendly, he's at like $1.8 or something--
JULIAN MCKENZIE: $1.875 mil.
OMAR: So I don't know if maybe they have a concrete plan of, we need to get someone else. But maybe they kind of wanted to leave the room in case they did want to get somewhere else-- someone else. I do think there could be another area where maybe you add another forward, and you push someone further down.
Maybe you do improve on the defense and have some people who are playing too high in the lineup, in my opinion, Justin Holl. So maybe there are some things that happen there. But again, if there's ever a year to have multiple additions from multiple teams ahead of a deadline, this would be it. And you know what? I'm happy so far.