Immediately following last night’s game, the Toronto Maple Leafs made a trade for Jack Campbell and Kyle Clifford, sending 24 year old fourth liner Trevor Moore, a 2020 3rd rounder (originally Columbus’), and a conditional 2021 3rd that can be come a 2nd if Clifford re-signs or the Leafs make the playoffs and Campbell wins six games.
This clearly takes the Leafs out of the running for Alex Georgiev, who came with a much higher price tag. The higher price tag makes sense, as he’s younger, more cost controlled, and quite frankly better than Campbell. However that doesn’t matter anymore, what matters now is finding a trade partner for Georgiev, as Toronto was the closest fit.
Finding a trade partner is relatively simple – find a team with horrendous goaltending that could use a young goalie. There are a bunch of teams out there already. The asking price is supposedly a young NHL forward
San Jose Sharks
This is something we’ve discussed before. The Sharks have the worst goaltending in the league and it’s holding them back from potentially making the playoffs. This season may be lost, but they have a roster that is built to hang on to contention for one or two more seasons. Georgiev fits that bill for them while also serving as a potential long term solution.
In terms of young NHL forwards, the target here would be Kevin Labanc. Labanc is a solid third line option who the Sharks will struggle to afford next season when he’s due a raise on his $1 million salary. They kicked the can down the road one year, but that’s all they will get now. He’s going to be due $3 million-$4 million.
The Wild are another team that is having goaltending issues and it’s keeping them out of a wild card spot. Their season is on the brink, and they’d have to act fast to stabilize their team and make a run. They also have a bunch of young forwards: Kevin Fiala, Luke Kunin, Jordan Greenway, and Joel Eriksson Ek come to mind as middle-six (Fiala/Kunin) or bottom six (Greenway/Eriksson Ek) options.
Now if the rumors are true that neither Kasperi Kapanen nor Andreas Johnsson were enough from Toronto, then none of these guys straight up is an option. The Rangers would want Minnesota to add. They do have all picks except their 3rd rounder this year and all of their picks next year.
Greenway has a history with David Quinn. So that may be something to watch.
We covered the Flames before too – they don’t really have many options in net long term, and neither is really a solid option in the short term. At 23 years old, Georgiev solves both of those problems for Calgary.
Finding a match here is difficult though. Sam Bennett won’t cut it. Neither will Andrew Mangiapane. Dillon Dube is certainly interesting, but is that enough? Again this goes back to the rumored price for Georgiev – that Kapanen or Johnsson weren’t enough.
The common denominator here – all of them are Western Conference teams. When it comes to a trade like this, a hockey trade that isn’t a rental, location plays a role. Price should trump all, but not seeing Georgiev more than twice in a season and not until a Stanley Cup Final in the playoffs matters as well.