BREAKING: McCabe and Lafferty Traded to Leafs

Jake McCabe getting on the ice for warmup Photo: Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

It seems as if many General Managers are pulling the trigger early on their moves. You can add Dubas to that list as the official Maple Leafs Twitter has announced the Leafs acquired McCabe and Lafferty from the Chicago Blackhawks.

Jake McCabe

In McCabe, the Leafs have acquired a defensive defenseman who still carries offensive upside. He typically makes smart plays with the puck and has the ability to eat minutes. In a long playoff series, that is an important need, and with Muzzin out for the season, bringing a minute muncher, it should prove to be a solid addition to this team. As Mike Stephens and others have noted, the Blackhawks have been a terrible team, but somehow McCabe is a plus player.

McCabe has shown skill and ability, and the analytical community believes he can be a solid addition to this team. It’s also worth noting that McCabe transitioning to a more skilled team will likely positively impact his performance. Getting McCabe at only $2M per season is great, especially considering he has two years after this year. The Leafs D-core seems all but set next year and assuming Holl leaves in free agency, it looks like the Leafs will be just fine on the backend. It is also worth noting that McCabe had a modified no-trade clause, and it’s believed the Leafs were the only Canadian team he would allow a trade to.

Sam Lafferty

I have liked Lafferty for a while now, not just since his solid games against the Leafs. Lafferty has definitely been having the best season of his career, but even if the numbers slow down, his speed won’t. Having a speedy player in the bottom-6 will bode well for the team. Lafferty acts as a decent forward defensively, who can play penalty-killing minutes but also chip in offensively. Signed for another season at $1.15M, Lafferty will help the Leafs to field another competitive roster next year in addition to the contributions he can make this season.

Overall Thoughts

It seems as if the Kyles have squashed their beef, as this is their second trade since last year’s deadline. McCabe and Lafferty are important pieces who both have term and can contribute to this Leafs team right away. I liked what I saw from Anderson, but unfortunately, other players are waiting in the Marlies, and Lafferty should add more to this team now anyway. The Leafs have upgraded their bottom-6 once again, and their back-end also looks stronger too. It’s great the Leafs were able to accomplish this without losing a top prospect or a roster player, but I envision that the team isn’t done yet as they don’t have enough cap space to activate Murray from LTIR. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kerfoot isn’t a part of this roster past the deadline. Either way, we have a decently clear vision of the Leafs’ playoff roster, and it looks much better than last year’s. Keefe now has just over 20 games to try things out and find optimal lines for this roster.

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