Sportsnet columnist Sean McIndoe (Down Goes Brown) made his annual trade grades for every NHL team, and he gave an overall mark of C+ to Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello. Remember that the Leafs only made five deals in the 2017 calendar year.
According to McIndoe, the best deal made by the Maple Leafs in 2017 was the one they made to acquire big center Brian Boyle from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Byron Froese (now with the Montreal Canadiens) and a second round pick in the 2017 draft, that became forward Alexander Volkov, who has 16 points in 29 games played in the AHL. Ultimately, Boyle only played 27 games with the Leafs (regular season and playoffs included) before joining the New Jersey Devils as a free agent last summer, but he helped the Leafs finishing their season strong and to play good hockey against the Washington Capitals in the first round, even if they lost in six games.
You may think that giving up a second round pick for a rental player is a lot (and you are probably right), but that's what we see in trade deadline deals over the last few years. Anyway, we'll still have to wait a couple of years to see what the second round pick involved in that deal will turn out to be. If Volkov becomes a 40-goal scorer in the NHL (we're not saying this will happen), maybe Lamoriello will have some nightmares about this one.
Leafs "worst" deal would be only getting a seventh round pick in 2018 from the Anaheim Ducks for goaltender Jonas Enroth, but Toronto only made five deals in 2017, that deal looks bad only because there's not a lot more to compare with.
A deal made by Lou Lamoriello that is still unclear wether it's a good one or not is getting goaltender Calvin Pickard from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for forward Tobias Lindberg (acquired in the deal that sent defenseman Dion Phaneuf to the Ottawa Senators) and a sixth round pick in 2018. Pickard is doing well in the American Hockey League, and if he stays in the organization and becomes a good backup option behind Frederik Andersen, then this deal will look pretty good.
What do you think, Leafs fans? How would you evaluate the work made by Lou Lamoriello?