It was made known yesterday that the Toronto Maple Leafs and head coach Mike Babcock would land to land an appropriate fourth-line centre ahead of the trade deadline, and their eyes are peeled on the Detroit Red Wings and forward Luke Glendening.
A reunion could be in the works for Babcock and Glendening who worked together back in Hockey Town for two seasons. Ansar Khan of MLive.com confirmed the report that the Maple Leafs and Red Wings have been speaking about a potential move to bring a fourth-line “shutdown guy” to Toronto.
However, the main issue in these discussions for Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello is that Detroit's asking price is said to be a decent draft pick or one of the Leafs good young prospects, such as winger Kasperi Kapanen.
"The Red Wings have made it clear they're not giving him away; they want a decent pick or one of Toronto's many good prospects. Right wing Kasperi Kapanen, who's appeared in 16 games for the Leafs this season, is a possibility," writes Khan.
While the Leafs might be against trading Kapanen, but the 21-year-old winger might be interested in landing a bigger role - on any NHL team for that matter. So far this season Kapanen has been recalled and sent down so many times, we have lost count. But he has still managed to nearly a point-per-game player in the AHL, and scoring frequently in the NHL despite a fourth line role.
"Kappy’s a guy that we all believe is going to play in the National Hockey League a long time," once said Babcock to Sportsnet about the young player. "He probably believes he should be on the team, but it’s just one of those things. We’ll give him an opportunity."
Kapanen is the best asset remaining in the organization from the Phil Kessel trade, but now could find himself on the move. When the Leafs called him back, Kapanen seemed to focus on this opportunity and the future, not dwelling on his time in the AHL.
"You get that opportunity, you want to put your foot in the door, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do for awhile," said Kapanen to Sportsnet. "I can just control the way I play and if they want to keep me then they keep me. It’s going to be an interesting couple games here."
Nothing is set in stone in trade talks for Glendening, has three years remaining at a $1.8 million cap hit. Spectors Hockey has suggested that the Leafs could potentially consider offering up little-used forward Josh Leivo, who reportedly requested a trade several weeks ago.