Revisiting A Major Failed Leafs Blockbuster Trade

James Connelly
August 22, 2023  (10:39 PM)

Kyle Dubas had a major trade proposal on the table, but it ultimately fell through, much to the advantage of the Maple Leafs.

Massive Failed Blockbuster

In March of last year, an inside scoop from Darren Dreger unveiled a significant trade scenario that the Leafs were considering. However, this deal hit a snag and eventually unraveled.
Insider Darren Dreger revealed the details in early 2022.
Here's a deal that didn't happen. Chicago and Toronto discussed Hagel and Fleury to the Leafs for Mrazek, Matthew Knies and 1st round picks. Never reached a stage where Fleury was asked officially to waive. Toronto declined based on the futures involved

Toronto sees promise in Woll and Kallgren and most definitely, Jack Campbell. It was a massive ask on the futures and potentially a portion of those futures can be used on shoring up Toronto's D. Turns outChicago got a huge return for Hagel from Tampa Bay.


Since leaving Chicago for Minnesota, Fleury has maintained solid performance, boasting a sub-3.00 goals-against average and a save percentage of .909.

On the flip side, Hagel has made quite a splash with Tampa Bay. He achieved an impressive 30-goal, 64-point performance last year and secured an 8-year contract extension, showcasing his significant potential.

Narrowly Avoiding a Potential Disaster

While both Hagel and Fleury are undoubtedly talented players, the asking price would have been excessive for Toronto to part with. Matthew Knies, a highly valued asset within the Maple Leafs' organization, has the potential to surpass Hagel's capabilities within just a few years. Even if not superior to Hagel, Knies could serve as a reliable forward for the Leafs for years to come.
Reassessing the Trade Scenario
Assuming Knies and Hagel offset each other's value, the trade would have boiled down to swapping Marc-Andre Fleury for Petr Mrazek and multiple first-round picks. Reflecting on a prior deal where Dubas exchanged Mrazek and the 25th pick for the 38th pick, the value seems equivalent to an early 2nd-round pick in this context. It's worth noting that the Leafs used that 2nd-round pick to select Fraser Minten, a player reportedly high on their list.
The Speculative Trade Outcome
It's reasonable to speculate that the other pick involved would have been the 2023 1st round pick, which the Leafs used in acquiring Ryan O'Reilly. However, the Leafs also secured a later 1st round pick, which they used to select Easton Cowan. It's likely that Cowan would have been their choice at the 25th pick unless Otto Stenberg, Quinten Musty, or Cal Ritchie were prioritized higher on the Leafs' draft board.
The Hypothetical Trade Details
If the trade had materialized:
To Toronto:

Brandon Hagel
Marc-Andre Fleury
To Chicago:

Matthew Knies
Fraser Minten
Easton Cowan

This exchange would have involved the Leafs' three most promising prospects. Although having Fleury or Hagel would have been appealing, it might have meant sacrificing young talent and facing challenges in retaining both players long-term.
Seen first on Hockey Patrol - Reflecting Upon The Failed Trade That Could Have Changed Leafs Fate
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Revisiting A Major Failed Leafs Blockbuster Trade

Should the Leafs have done this trade?

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