Maple Leafs acquire Canadiens' Tomas Plekanec in 4-player deal

25 February, 2018, 21:11 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • Maple Leafs acquire Canadiens' Tomas Plekanec in 4-player deal

Plekanec, a Czech Republic native, comes with Kyle Baun, grandson of legendary Leaf defenceman Bobby Baun, who is a farmhand forward with the Canadiens team in Laval, in exchange for two Marlies, forward Kerby Rychel and defenceman Rinat Valiev and the key for the Habs, a second-round pick this June.

You can't help but wonder if Toronto was partially compelled to make the move after the Pittsburgh Penguins landed center Derick Brassard in a three-team trade Saturday.

Plekanec was selected in the third round, seventy-first overall in the 2001 National Hockey League entry draft. He also has improved his faceoff rate to a career-high which especially came in handy on the penalty kill.

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It should also be said that Plekanec's value exceeds playing bottom-six minutes at even strength. While Boyle provided some veteran experience, the deal was a short-term solution for a team that was not going deep into the playoffs at a hefty price. While a few teams, most notably the Winnipeg Jets, were interested in bringing the 35-year-old in as a third-line center, Plekanec will offer even more depth and versatility to a Toronto roster that already boasts (the presently-injured-but-soon-to-return) Auston Matthews, Nazem Kadri and Tyler Bozak down the middle. In his career, he has played in 87 post-season games. He will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.

Valiev was Toronto's third-round pick (No. 68 overall) in 2014. He has 605 career points, including 232 goals in 981 games. He cleared waivers at the beginning of the season and has been there since then and has picked up ten goals and 20 assists in 55 games with the Marlies. Rychel, 23, has always been mentioned in trade talk and the 2013 first-round selection - he was taken 19th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets - could become a roster player for the retooling Canadiens in short order. They have stockpiled a total of nine draft picks for June's draft, including four 2018 second-round selections. This includes four second-round picks.

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