NHL Trade: How Ilya Lyubushkin Got Traded To Toronto Maple Leafs

Originally published by NHLRumors.com

Maple Leafs Always Had Eyes on Ilya Lyubushkin

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun joined SportsCenter with Jay Onrait and was asked how the Toronto Maple Leafs and Anaheim Ducks got a deal done so quickly for defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin without giving up too much.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

NHL Trade: Toronto Maple Leafs Acquire Ilya Lyubushkin

Jay Onrait: “As I promised you at the top of the show, I said Pierre LeBrun would be on the show, and sure enough, I delivered here. He is our Hockey Insider Extraordinaire and Pierre breaking news on Thursday night—the Leafs a couple of defensive injury issues in their win over the Coyotes.

They miss out on Chris Tanev. Brad Treliving gets right to work after that win over the Yotes, and he acquires, reacquires, I suppose you could say, Ilya Lyubushkin. How did this all come together for the Leafs in the last 24 hours?”

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Pierre LeBrun: “Yeah, well, I guess you could say the Leafs required Lyubushkin, although it wasn’t Brad Treliving who was in that chair for the last time they got him; that was Kyle Dubas, but I guess he had enough people still lying around that Leafs Front Office saying, ‘Hey that was pretty good for us a couple of years ago.’

And you know, Jay, you’ve heard us mention Lybushkin’s name connected to the Leafs before on Insider Trading over the course of the last few weeks. He was always on Toronto’s radar. He just wasn’t number one. Don’t know if he’ll come out and admit that because they were all in on Chris Tanev. Then once Chris Tanev was dealt and this is what happens this time of year, there is a domino effect. Clearly, they zeroed in on Lyubushkin.

And again, a right-hand shot, rugged physical defender. That was what the Leafs had been looking for. It’s what they would have gotten Tanev, but they got a version of it now in Lyubushkin.

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And I will also say that obviously, the price is right. I mean, the Leafs ended up giving up a third-round pick to Anaheim in this three-team deal. Sixth-round pick to Carolina, who the Hurricanes are trying to win their own cup, and they got time to do some salary retention on the side here a week from the trade deadline.

And they get involved in this, and the Leafs give up a couple of middling picks and also get Lyubushkin at 75 percent salary retention. It’s pretty tidy work by the Leafs.

I don’t think Toronto is done. But at least now they get their defense upgrade, which they have really been looking for all year.”