Coyotes and Leafs swing a late night trade; Nick Ritchie on the move

Published February 19, 2022 at 10:56 PM

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Arizona Coyotes have swung a late-night deal on Saturday, with the Leafs finally ridding themselves of the Nick Ritchie contract and upgrading their blueline. Two birds, one stone.

Ritchie and his $2.5M cap hit, this season and next, will be heading to Arizona, along with the Coyotes' choice between the Leafs' 2023 3rd round pick OR their 2025 2nd round pick. In exchange, the Leafs have acquired right-shot defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin and utility forward Ryan Dzingel.

Dzingel and Lyubushkin combine for $2.45M against the cap, which means that the Leafs have not only saved themselves $500K this season, but it also frees up an additional $2.5M next season, which could go a long way in helping the Leafs to re-sign pending UFA goaltender Jack Campbell.

The trade did not take long to materialize after Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman had reported on it during his 32 Thoughts segment on Hockey Night in Canada during the second intermission. About an hour later, the deal was completed.

For the Coyotes, they landed themselves a serviceable NHL player who can play while they continue on their path to a full blown rebuild, and some additional future draft capital. In Lyubushkin and Dzingel, the Yotes are dealing two pending UFA's who were likely not going to come back next season.

All in all, a very good deal for both sides.

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