It’s officially trade deadline season, which means there are lots of calls being made, texts being sent, and rumours being circulated. Around this time last year, one particularly fun one that surfaced was that the Maple Leafs and Red Wings were in talks on moving Luke Glendening. Instead, the Leafs acquired Thomas Plekanec.
Well, it appears as though the Leafs are back in the market for a fourth line center this year and Glendening is on their radar.
TRADE BAIT: #Leafs believed to have kicked the tires again on a Mike Babcock favourite in Luke Glendening. The latest on the #TSNHockey Top 50 Trade Bait board: https://t.co/U7DBNWkwfM #TSN pic.twitter.com/2ZPVHfeRf9
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) February 8, 2019
As we all know, Glendening is exactly the kind of player Mike Babcock loves. He’s a hard worker who doesn’t expect anything to be handed to him. He’s a character guy who is a big part of the Red Wings culture that’s preached about so often.
As Seravalli points out in his article, the asking price last year started with a 2nd round pick, but it was a little too pricey for Lou Lamoriello at the time. Now, with Brian Boyle being moved for a 2nd, that price doesn’t seem that outrageous.
The real question for Toronto, Seravalli points out, is whether or not Glendening is an upgrade on current fourth line center Frederik Gauthier. Spoiler alert: he’s not a huge upgrade. Though Glendening is fantastic in the faceoff circle and can be tasked with defending an opposing team’s top player, his offensive upside is close to zero.
Still, if the Red Wings can move the grinder and create some space in their bottom-6 for a young player to start their NHL career, they absolutely should. Even if it means retaining some salary, which would be a huge help for the Leafs as they navigate their impending salary cap storm.
Of course, we saw this song-and-dance between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs last year and nothing came to fruiting. My gut tells me this will, once again, not happen.
Still, it’s fun to imagine how mad this trade would make Leafs fans.