When a GM leaves one team for another franchise, he often brings in “his guys.”
That situation is especially interesting when it comes to Lou Lamoriello and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The powerful former New Jersey Devils GM hasn’t been loading up on his former players – not yet – but this short blurb in Elliotte Friedman’s latest 30 Thoughts piece perked up some ears:
7. There’s more than one NHL exec who thinks Lou Lamoriello would love to get his hands on Travis Zajac.
Obviously, Friedman doesn’t even discuss what might be involved in a potential trade, so consider this a mere morsel of a thought. Granted, it’s a rather fascinating little nugget.
One would think that if Lamoriello wants Zajac and the rest of Maple Leafs management would allow it, then the Devils would probably be glad to facilitate a deal.
After all, the 30-year-old’s contract sure looks onerous at the moment.
His deal is entering its most expensive years, and even if you only consider cap hit, stomaching $5.75 million per year through 2020-21 is unpleasant at best.
Why wouldn’t Devils GM Ray Shero want to get rid of Zajac’s deal considering the fact that he only produced 25 points in 74 games last season? Even if he’s a useful two-way player, that’s not pretty.
Shero almost certainly doesn’t share Lamoriello’s heightened opinion of Zajac. He didn’t draft him, and Zajac didn’t generate two 60+ point seasons for his version of the Devils.
With all of that in mind, if this report is accurate, it would probably all come down to what the Maple Leafs would want to make it all happen.
And really, how many people not named Lou Lamoriello would want to trade for Zajac, unless perhaps they were getting rid of a shaky deal themselves?
This report isn’t so hard to believe, but Maple Leafs fans probably don’t want to fathom it.