NHL Draft 2019: Maple Leafs trade Patrick Marleau to Hurricanes, who will reportedly buy him out
The Maple Leafs are effectively sending the 39-year-old to free agency
P.K. Subban wasn't the only big-name player moved as part of a salary-saving trade on Saturday.
The Toronto Maple Leafs announced just before the start of the second round of the 2019 NHL Draft that they have dealt Patrick Marleau, along with a conditional 2020 first-round pick and a 2020 seventh-round pick, to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a 2020 sixth-round pick.
If the compensation seems uneven, it's because the Hurricanes will also absorb the $6.25 million remaining on Marleau's three-year contract signed with the Leafs back in 2017, freeing Toronto to intensify talks on a long-term deal with Mitch Marner. Marleau himself played all 82 games in both of his years with the Maple Leafs, logging 27 goals in his debut campaign, and he's been heralded as a mentor to both Marner and fellow Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews. But after scoring a career-low 16 goals in 2018-19 and with his age-40 season approaching, the longtime San Jose Sharks forward was deemed expendable.
Marleau, meanwhile, could be bound for a reunion with the Sharks. According to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston, the former second overall pick signed off on the trade to Carolina with the understanding that the Hurricanes will buy him out, sending him to unrestricted free agency. Johnston said Saturday Marleau hopes to re-sign with San Jose, his NHL home for 19 years.
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