Trade Deadline: Toronto Takes Tomas Plekanec

Question: What could be slightly less appealing than being thrown screaming from a helicopter?

Answer: Watching a career long player for your favorite team being traded to your biggest rival.


Tomas Plekanec has been dealt off ahead of the trade deadline to the only team that he will not hit 1,000 career regular season games with this season: the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Two teams that one would think would be among the least likely to engage in trade talks and even likelier than any other given trading partner to want to force the buying team to overpay for an asset en route to a playoff run.


…and Toronto did overpay to acquire Tomas Plekanec.


The return for Tomas Plekanec (and Kyle Baun for that matter) is a second round pick in this year’s draft (to add to Marc Bergevin’s overwhelming stockpile of such now) plus Kerby Rychel and Rinat Valiev.  Prospect guru of epic proportions Mitch Brown had this to say regarding Rychel and Valiev…


“Rinat Valiev (LD) is a solid player. Not flashy, but steady. Kerby Rychel is a bit more interesting. Waived at the season’s start, 52 points last year w/ Marlies, on pace for 40 now. Good shot, has an edge. Foot speed/defence/puck skills are flaws. Probably depth guys, at best.” … “Certainly could make Laval more interesting. Valiev isn’t all that different from Parisi – provides a consistent presence with steady defence & puck decisions. Rychel adds a scoring punch. Laval’s in short order of both.”


Looking at the most obvious difference between Valiev and Parisi, Valiev is three inches taller at 6’2 and eleven pounds heavier at 208.


Kerby Rychel was someone that Marc Bergevin had keen interest on before the Toronto Maple Leafs could acquire him, leaving him being part of the return to being no surprise.  If he is likely a depth player at his ceiling and lacks speed and puck skills, the cynic would immediately suggest that such is his interest in any given player but make no mistake about his shot: it is appealing and could translate to some degree of big league success.  Valiev, on the other hand, has been described by others as a dynamic skating defenceman with a strong stick and a reputation for protecting his teammates by dropping the gloves willingly.


It is the second round draft pick for this upcoming draft that is the most enticing piece of this return.  Having a raging surplus of second round picks (the NHL’s seemingly most active currency) provides the Montreal Canadiens with a tremendous amount of wealth and options; they can easily move up in the draft, move the picks for bodies or stockpile the pipeline in a major way.  After all, what would be a better idea than arming Trevor Timmins to the teeth with opportunities to pluck his favorite players from the draft board? While Valiev may be worth a look at the NHL level and Kerby Rychel could get a run there before the season ends, the potential for yet another second round pick in the hands of Trevor Timmins is never an unappealing venture.


Now comes the hard part.  The Montreal Canadiens still have two games to play against the Toronto Maple Leafs this season.  Neither meeting would see Plekanec return to the Bell Centre in another team’s uniform but is it going to be awkward and emotional? You bet your sweet bippy.


Everyone at All About The Habs would like to thank Tomas Plekanec for his years of diligent service to the Montreal Canadiens.  If this is the end of the ride, it was a worthwhile one.  It is regretful that the outgoing destination for him is the worst that one could possibly ask for and while we do not wish his new team anything even remotely close to the best or anything even the least bit nice, we do wish Tomas Plekanec all the best in his future endeavors.


Here’s to hoping he doesn’t have to follow their shave policy… that goatee is iconic.

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One Response to Trade Deadline: Toronto Takes Tomas Plekanec

  1. i still don’t like the fact that Montreal retains 50% of Pleks salary for the remainder of the year….player wise we did not get great return and depends on who we get in the draft as we never know who will make it and who will not.this could be a we got fleeced trade unless Pleks resigns in Montreal next year but you never know what others will offer him..time will tell

    Bay_Bye February 25, 2018 at 2:53 pm Reply

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