The Toronto Maple Leafs made a roster move in advance of the Western leg of their six-game road trip, calling up forward Pierre Engvall to replace winger Trevor Moore. Moore suffered a shoulder injury after colliding with Boston forward Chris Wagner in the first period of a 4-2 loss to the Bruins on Friday and was placed on injured reserve on Monday.
Engvall has 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists) in 15 games for the AHL Toronto Marlies, and has seven points (5 goals, 2 assists) in the last three games. The 23-year-old has been steadily progressing since joining the Marlies in March 2018. He was a depth forward during the club’s run to a Calder Cup title, scored 19 goals last season, and successfully shifted to center when they had a string of injuries.
The 6’5”, 214 lb winger will likely play on the fourth line with former Marlie linemate Frederik Gauthier and Nick Shore, and could be utilized on the Leafs penalty kill, with his speed and long reach.
Pierre Engvall scores his 5th goal in three games.
The Leafs recent downturn has understandably sparked speculation about a shakeup in the form of a trade, and the name mentioned by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman on Saturday was defenseman Tyson Barrie.
The 28-year-old was expected to be a point producer and help fill a hole on the chronically weak right side of the Leafs blueline when he was acquired in the deal for Nazem Kadri last July, but has been a disaster in Toronto, with just six assists in 22 games and a club-worst -10 plus/minus rating.
Barrie is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and with the Leafs salary cap restrictions, it was not expected that they would be able to accommodate the blueliner’s rumored price tag around $8 Million per season.
Friedman indicated that Barrie has not asked to be traded, but his performance thus far is likely costing him significant money in the free agent market next summer. Teams have inquired whether GM Kyle Dubas is interested in trading the speedy defenseman and so far they have rejected the idea, but Barrie’s low salary ($2.75 Million) with the Avalanche retaining 50% makes the righty an enticing target.
The blueliner is at his lowest potential trade value now and if the Leafs are considering a deal, they may want to wait until he is playing better or closer to the trade deadline to get a better return. If Barrie continues to play as he has in the first quarter of the season, it may spur a request for a trade and then the return could be less.
It is possible that Dubas could get a defenseman who is potentially a better fit, a top-level prospect and/or a first round pick in a Barrie deal (which would replace the one swapped to Carolina to buyout Patrick Marleau’s contract), but a trade would be an admission that the second year GM made a critical error in his evaluation of his impact on the club.
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