Maple Leafs and Coyotes could be close on a deal per Insider

Published February 19, 2022 at 9:40 PM

As per Elliote Friedman, the Coyotes could be very close to dealing defenceman Ilya Lyubushkin, which is why he was a healthy scratch for tonights game. It is not believed that the scratch has to do with his health of play as of late, but due to the fact that a trade could be near!

According to Friedman, the Leafs have been interested in the Russian defenceman for awhile and he believes that what the Coyotes are interested in return is Leafs power forward Nick Ritchie who is currently playing in the AHL for the Toronto Marlies.

After signing a 2 year deal with the Leafs with an AAV of $2,500,000, Ritchie quickly fell out of favour with the team after a mere 33 games, which saw him only put up 9 points. A change of scenery could definitely be a positive for this still relatively young player.

It is believed that there are multiple teams interested in Lyubushkin, but the Leafs seem to be the front runners.

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