The rumour mill season is always the best time of the year for being a hockey fan. Whether it’s in the lead-up to the trade deadline, on draft day, or amid free agent frenzy, there are fewer aspects of hockey more exciting than conjecturing on which player a team may be making their way to a different team.
Sometimes it results in actual transactions, other times it fizzles out into nothing while the general populous moves on to the next hot-button topic. One such case that resulted in the latter was the rumours of the Leafs going after Mikael Granlund.
The team’s interest in Granlund dates back to the 2020 offseason when he hit the open market after informing the Predators he did not wish to stay. Toronto ultimately did not have enough cap space to sign him and he thus begrudgingly went back to Nashville on a one-year deal. As the 2021 trade deadline approached a few months later, Frank Seravalli reported that Granlund was among the Leafs’ top trade targets in an attempt to upgrade their forward core. A move never materialized when Nashville got back in the playoff picture and he would end up signing a four-year extension that offseason. He would stay on for a season and a half before getting traded to the Penguins at this past deadline in exchange for a 2023 second-round pick.
That last part almost did not happen because as Seravalli mentioned in his latest Trade Targets list, Granlund was nearly traded to Toronto last year.
As we now know, the Leafs would end up acquiring Mark Giordano, Ilya Lyubushkin, and Colin Blackwell at the 2022 trade deadline. Giordano was the only one of the three players listed that had to have his salary retained because he had a …
Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation