It appears as if the Toronto Maple Leafs could be close to shedding Nikita Zaitsev’s $4.5M AAV salary off of their payroll.
Hearing OTT/TOR are working on a Zaitsev deal. Might not happen for a couple of days, but it’s in the process.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 29, 2019
Moments after Elliotte Friedman came out with his report that the Leafs and Ottawa were discussing a deal, Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston tweeted that it’s believed that RFA defenceman Cody Ceci would be coming back the other way.
What Does This Mean?
Ceci’s perceived value in Ottawa, like Zaitsev’s in Toronto, is a point of contention within the fan base and, with that in mind, many in Leafs Nation could be scared away by this potential trade. The thing is, however, it’s more likely than not that the Leafs will flip Ceci to another team immediately upon acquiring him. Right-handed defencemen are a hot commodity these days, and surely the Leafs would have no shortage of suitors for Ceci.
In fact, Ceci probably has a higher trade value than Zaitsev at the moment, given how he’s a pending restricted free agent and two years younger, …
Author: Jacob Stoller / The Leafs Nation