Reflecting Upon The Failed Trade That Could Have Changed Leafs Fate

James Connelly
August 22, 2023  (10:16 PM)

Kyle Dubas had a blockbuster trade ready to be worked out but it fell through to the benefit of the Maple Leafs.

Failed Blockbuster Fluery/Hagel Trade

Back in March of last year, insider Darren Dreger revealed a massive trade that the Leafs could have made that stalled and eventually fell apart.
Here's a deal that didn't happen. Chicago and Toronto discussed Hagel and Fleury to the Leafs for Mrazek, Matthew Knies and 1st round picks. Never reached a stage where Fleury was asked officially to waive. Toronto declined based on the futures involved

Toronto sees promise in Woll and Kallgren and most definitely, Jack Campbell. It was a massive ask on the futures and potentially a portion of those futures can be used on shoring up Toronto's D. Turns outChicago got a huge return for Hagel from Tampa Bay.

Fleury has been solid since leaving Chicago for Minnesota where he has held down the fort posting a sub 3 GAA and a sv percentage right at .909.

Hagel on the other hand has really burst out onto the scene with Tampa. He scored 30 goals and 64 points last year and even proved himself as a player deserving of an 8-year extension.

How The Leafs Dodged A Bullet

While Hagel and Fleury are both great players in their own regard, it would have been simply too much for Toronto to give up.
Matthew Knies alone is one of the most valuable assets within the Maple Leafs organization outside of the core four and has the potential to be better than Hagel is in only 2 or 3 years. And even if he is not better than Hagel, he will at the very worst be a 3rd line checking forward for the Leafs for years which is one of the more undervalued roles in the NHL.
So assuming Knies and Hagel cancel each other out, we are now looking at Marc-Andre Fleury for Petr Mrazek and multiple first-round picks.
Considering how Dubas packed Mrazek and the 25th pick to Chicago for the 38th pick, it seems like the value there was worth an early 2nd-round pick between those two assets. However, it should be noted that with that 2nd round pick, the Leafs took Fraser Minten who was reportedly in their top 15.
It would also be logical to assume that the other pick would have been the 2023 1st which the Leafs used to trade for Ryan O'Reilly. However, they also acquired a later 1st which they used on Easton Cowan who likely would have been the pick at 25 unless Otto Stenberg, Quinten Musty, or Cal Ritchie were higher on the Leafs' board than Cowan.
So here is what the Leafs would have given up:
Brandon Hagel
Marc-Andre Fleury

Matthew Knies
Fraser Minten
Easton Cowan

That is flat out the Leafs three best prospects right now. While it would be nice to have Fleury or Hagel, it most likely means the Leafs lose out on young talent and would have had difficulty retaining both players for the long term.
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Reflecting Upon The Failed Trade That Could Have Changed Leafs Fate

Would the Leafs have won a cup if they had done this trade?

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