Grading Every Leafs Move on a Busy July 1st

The Leafs certainly didn’t keep quiet yesterday.
Between clearing the equivalent of a small nation’s GDP off of their cap, diving headfirst into the bargain bin, and trading one of the franchise’s longest-standing and deeply-rooted players in recent memory, Kyle Dubas came out swinging for the Canada Day festivities, leaving a trail of carnage in his path.
As a result, the Toronto Maple Leafs are a better hockey team right now than they were 48 hours ago. At least, when viewing their moves on the whole. How did each individual transaction play out, however?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
Trade: Nikita Zaitsev + Connor Brown + Michael Carcone to Ottawa for Cody Ceci + Ben Harpur + Aaron Luchuk + 2020 3rd Round Pick
Grade: B++
It’s hard not to watch the Leafs jettison both of Nikita Zaitsev and Connor Brown at once, clearing a combined $6.6 million off their ever-tightening cap – and stripping Mike Babcock of two over-used toys, as well – and give them an A for their troubles.
On the surface, at least, it seems like they’ve earned it.
This trade was a future-altering move for a franchise very much in need of one. The decision yesterday to move out …

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Author: Mike Stephens / The Leafs Nation

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