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Hurricanes Acquire Patrick Marleau and a first-round pick from the Maple Leafs

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Canes get a first-round pick along with Marleau’s cap hit.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Day two of 2019 NHL Draft weekend was kicked off with a trade out of right field. Shortly after noon EST on Saturday, it was announced that the Carolina Hurricanes had acquired veteran forward Patrick Marleau, a conditional 2020 first-round pick, and a 2020 seventh-round pick from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a 2020 sixth-round pick.

If Toronto’s 2020 first-round pick ends up in the top-10, the pick will be pushed back to 2021. Barring some kind of massive collapse from the Leafs, the Canes should end up with the 2020 pick.

The Leafs had been trying to create cap room for a while, and they finally were able to with the trade of Marleau. There is no retained money in the deal, which is why Carolina was given a first-round pick.

According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Hurricanes will talk to Marleau, who has a $6.25 million cap hit for the upcoming season, and try to convince him to play in Carolina, but I think the reality is that Marleau will be bought out so that he can explore signing with his former team, the San Jose Sharks.

Given Marleau’s very low base salary for the upcoming season, a buy out would be very inexpensive and almost negligible for the Hurricanes. The only big hit is on the cap, meaning the Canes will have $6.25 million less to work with for 2019-20, even though they will only be paying Marleau $833,333 total over the next two seasons.

From the team press release:

RALEIGH, NC - Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has acquired Toronto’s first-round selection in the 2020 NHL Draft (protected), Toronto’s seventh-round selection in the 2020 NHL Draft and forward Patrick Marleau from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Carolina’s sixth-round selection in the 2020 NHL Draft. If Toronto’s first-round selection in the 2020 NHL Draft is a top-10 pick, the Hurricanes will instead receive Toronto’s first-round selection in the 2021 NHL Draft.

Marleau, 39, has registered 1,166 career points (551g, 615a) in 1,657 career NHL games over 21 seasons with San Jose and Toronto, ranking fifth all-time in NHL history in career games played. Among active players, Marleau ranks first in games played, second in goals, fourth in points and fifth in assists. The 6’2”, 218-pound forward spent the last two seasons with the Maple Leafs after playing 19 seasons with the Sharks, and posted 37 points (16g, 21a) in 82 games with Toronto in 2018-19. The Aneroid, Sask., native was drafted second overall by the Sharks in the 1997 NHL Draft.