Thanks to an 11th hour trade, however, the 32nd franchise will only be able to snatch one of six middle forwards in the July 21 expansion draft.
Shortly before Saturday’s trade freeze at 3 p.m. ET – scheduled two hours before the expansion draft deadline for the protection rosters – the Toronto Maple Leafs got McCann from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for the prospect of 21-year-old Filip Hållander and a seventh-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.
No salary was withheld in the agreement.
McCann, 25, has a salary cap of $ 2.94 million through 2021-22, but he owes $ 3.38 million in actual salary, which will have little consequence for the Leafs.
Unlike McCaan, Hållander does not need protection from the Kraken.
The deal better positioned Pittsburgh and Toronto for next week’s player crop. It was only one in a 10-deal blizzard involving 15 teams – none of them in Seattle – in the frenzied 48 hours before the freeze.
Learning well from George McPhee’s clever deceptions and opportunistic double dips in the 2017 Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft, the NHL general managers have so far favored settlements among themselves instead of leaving the general manager of Seattle Ron Francis play the puppet master.
“Different teams have different motivations for dealing with players,” Maple Leafs assistant general manager Laurence Gilman previously said.
“A lot of teams see the Expansion Draft as an opportunity for them to shy away from certain players or – if they’re strong – acquire players before the Expansion Draft of other vulnerable teams. “
This is precisely what the Maple Leafs (among other clubs) accomplished on Saturday.
At McCann, the Maple Leafs got another Ontario-born forward and some insurance against the loss of Kerfoot, a 26-year-old registered until 2023 at $ 3.5 million.
Both players showed versatility, playing in the center and left wing.
McCann, a natural hub, moved to the left flank of the Penguins’ third line after the organization acquired center Jeff Carter at the trade deadline.
A late first-round pick by the Vancouver Canucks in 2014, McCaan recorded 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) and had the career-best score of plus-17 in 43 regular-season games with the Penguins in 2021. He wrote one down. assist in Pittsburgh’s six-game first-round loss to the New York Islanders.
McCann’s positive underlying numbers reportedly caught the attention of Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas, and his shooting percentage (15.1%) was higher than normal last season.
The Maple Leafs have yet to make McCann available to reporters, and he immediately joins Kerfoot, Travis Dermott and possibly Justin Holl as the Leafs likely targeted by Francis.
If Seattle snatches McCann or Kerfoot, Dubas will no longer lose a versatile mid-six striker at a reasonable price.
Simply put: McCann is Kerfoot Insurance… and it’s cheaper.
Suspecting the Kraken might catch McCann, Pittsburgh was able to buy out Hållander, whom he drafted in 2018 and sold to Toronto in 2020 as a key part of Kasperi Kapanen’s business.
“We are delighted to add Filip to the organization. He’s a well-built all-around player who plays the game the right way, ”said Penguins general manager Ron Hextall. “We are grateful to Jared for his contribution to the team and wish him the best. “
Hållander, 21, is signed throughout the 2022-2023 season at an AAV of $ 764,167. He has yet to play for a North American team.
The six-foot-one, 190-pound forward spent 2020-21 with Lulea HF of the Swedish Hockey League, registering 13 goals, 11 assists and 24 points in 51 games.
The protection lists for the Seattle extension project will be released on Sunday morning.