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Seller’s Market: Leafs trade Daniel Winnik to Caps for Brooks Laich and more

Senators Maple Leafs Hockey

Toronto Maple Leafs’ Daniel Winnik celebrates his game-tying goal against the Ottawa Senators during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Toronto on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)


There’s no stopping the Toronto Maple Leafs...from making trades that is.

The Leafs have shipped Daniel Winnik and Anaheim’s fifth-round pick in 2016 to the Washington Capitals for veteran forward Brooks Laich, Connor Carrick and a second-round pick in 2016.

At first glance, it looks like the Capitals are crazy for pulling the trigger on this trade, but losing Brooks Laich’s $4.5 million cap hit (he’s under contract through next season) is a huge plus for Washington.

The move allows the Capitals to add $2.2 million in salary before Monday’s trade deadline, per General Fanager.

Laich’s production has dropped off significantly in the last few years. The 32-year-old has just one goal and seven points in 60 games this season.

This is the second time in two years that Toronto has traded Daniel Winnik away. Last year, they shipped him to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Winnik is a solid addition to Washington’s bottom-six forward group. His value comes in the form of penalty killing and blocking shots. The 30-year-old has one year remaining on his contract. It comes with a cap hit of $2.25 million.

So, what do the Leafs get for eating Laich’s expensive cap hit?

Even though Washington will pick late in the draft, a second-round pick in 2016 is a nice return for Toronto. This is the third second-round pick they’ve added since last Monday (they acquired two second-round picks from San Jose in the Roman Polak deal).

Carrick was Washington’s fifth round pick in 2012. The 21-year-old has one goal and six points in 37 career NHL games. He’s skated in just three contests with the Caps in 2015-16.

Here’s a message from Alex Ovechkin: