Leafs Trade Winnik to Penguins

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The Toronto Maple Leafs sent one of their most effective role players to Pennsylvania today for two draft picks and a bottom 6 forward. More inside.

Daniel Winnik signed a one-year/$1.3 million deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the off-season. He was expected to be a valuable defensive forward, but with the Leafs tumble down the standings proved expendable.

Winnik was sent to the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier today in exchange for F Zach Sill, a 2015 fourth-round pick, and a 2016 second-round pick.

Toronto GM Dave Nonis had this to say regarding the Pittsburgh offer:

“If we felt that the offer wasn’t fair and that there was going to be more coming, then we would’ve waited,” Nonis said on a conference call Wednesday. “But we’re happy with the return, and I think Pittsburgh’s got a good player for their playoff push.”

And regarding obtaining two draft picks:

“The two picks, getting the second and the fourth, were important for us to add those picks into our system and try to put more players in the system going forward,” Nonis said.

He also complimented Winnik on his play in a Leaf uniform:

“He fit in well with every line he played on, was a very good penalty killer for us, and teams recognize that,” Nonis said. “His play put him in a position where he was wanted and it put us in a position to get some quality assets back.”

The Leafs also retained %50 of Winnik’s salary to facilitate the deal. Nonis spoke on how much easier making a deal is when a team is able to retain salary:

“That wrinkle of the CBA is important for making deals now,” Nonis said. “In the past that was not something you could do. You had to find matches that were dollar-for-dollar, and now you can work with teams to try to get a deal done.”

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