The Toronto Maple Leafs have collapsed. Again. According to Sports Cub Stats, their chances of making the playoffs have fallen from a high of 95.2 percent in mid-December to just 8.0 percent today. And that means they should be sellers come the March 2 trade deadline.
One player whose name is starting to be mentioned is Mike Santorelli, the versatile 29-year-old center (who can also play the wing) with nine goals and 17 assists this season.
Another thing about Santorelli? Adding him to the roster is about as easy as it gets, financially speaking. His cap hit is a mere $1.5 million, and he’s a pending unrestricted free agent, so there’s no additional term to worry about.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger (video), the New York Rangers, who unsuccessfully tried to sign Santorelli this summer, could be interested.
Currently, the Rangers have rookie Kevin Hayes playing third-line center. He’s done okay there, but he may be a better fit on the wing.
Theoretically, another potential destination for Santorelli could be Washington, as a cheaper alternative to, say, Antoine Vermette or Ryan O’Reilly.