Maple Leafs Rumors: Team Targeting Another Flames D-Man In Trade

There were quite a few gasps around Leafs Nation when it was announced Thursday afternoon that rumored trade target Nikita Zadorov was dealt by the Calgary Flames to the Vancouver Canucks for merely 3rd- and 5th-round draft picks. Couldn't the Leafs have matched that offer, went the thinking? 

It appears that Calgary's reluctance to retain salary on his $3.75M cap hit put the kibosh on the Leafs' attempt to land Zadorov. 

But NHL Insiders around the league are suggesting that the Leafs still do have another impending UFA Flames defenseman on their radar: Chris Tanev.

Kevin Weekes of ESPN wrote that the Leafs wanted to acquire both Zadorov and Tanev, but in the end, without the partial salary retention from the Flames, Toronto simply couldn't make it work with their salary cap constraints.  

As reported by David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, the Leafs are hoping to find out at any time now if injured defenseman John Klingberg (and his $4M cap hit) will be undergoing season-ending surgery. If that does happen, it would open the gates for a Tanev deal. The Flames rearguard comes with a $4.5M cap hit. 

It should be noted that he does have a 10-team no-trade list, but the fact that he's a Toronto guy, and it was current Leafs GM Brad Treliving who signed Tanev to his current deal in Calgary should make that a moot point.

As for Zadorov, he'll take his bruising approach and his 6'6" frame to Vancouver, and, in fact, face his ex-teammates in Calgary on Saturday night. 

Photo: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports