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Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

It really sounds like TJ Brodie almost became a Leaf

As Sportsnet senior writer Chris Johnston wound down his media commitments for the summer – he’s on vacation now hopefully – he provided some interesting insight in the scuttled trade between the Calgary Flames and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Here’s what we know, thanks to Johnston’s appearances on the Steve Dangle Podcast [SDP] and a hit with Pat Steinberg on Sportsnet 960 The Fan [SN960].

Nazem Kadri was coming to Calgary

The Leafs had been trying to convert one of their surplus forwards into a defenseman that could play the right side.

I think the deal was done. My understanding is there was a three team trade done. I don’t know all the pieces and I don’t know the third team, so i only know part of it, but the key part of it was that Nazem Kadri was approached and asked to waive his no-trade clause to come to Calgary as part of that deal and he didn’t end up doing so. [SN960]

TJ Brodie was going to Toronto

Johnston seemed less certain about the Brodie aspect of it all, but given the information that he does have – and what we’ve heard from other media outlets – Brodie fits the profile of what the Leafs were looking to get back in a Kadri trade.

I know for certain that Calgary was the city that Nazem was asked to waive his no-trade for, and that it was a similiar type of deal in conception from just the Toronto standpoint that they made with Colorado, i.e., they were gonna get a defenseman back that could play the right side, which TJ Brodie fits the profile, and another cheaper center-slash-forward that they could plug in essentially to Kadri’s place, because that was really where Kerfoot falls in in the deal that was made. [SDP]

A center was headed to Toronto with Brodie

Let’s revisit the last piece of Johnston’s discussion from the Dangle podcast: “another cheaper center-slash-forward that they could plug in essentially to Kadri’s place”. On the Flames roster, the cheaper center-slash-forwards would probably boil down to pending restricted free agent Sam Bennett (who hasn’t played center in a couple seasons) or Mark Jankowski.

When chatting with Steinberg, Johnston was more specific, using the phrasing “center that could play in Kadri’s spot.” Again, our speculation, but it sounds very much like it would’ve been Jankowski.

Let’s speculate!

The Toronto/Colorado swap sent Kadri, Calle Rosen and a third round pick to Colorado for Tyson Barrie ($2.75 million salary retained), Alex Kerfoot and a sixth round pick.

Given that the Leafs (a) got a right side defender and (b) opened up $2.5 million in cap space in the process, it’s unlikely that the Calgary/Toronto deal would’ve only consisted of Kadri for Brodie and Jankowski – that swap would’ve seen the Leafs take on $1.8 million in cap hits rather than clear out any room. Given the deal the Leafs ended up consummating, it seems probable that the third team involved (whoever it was) was serving as a banker of sorts to help the other two sides get what they needed.

The deal wasn’t completed between the Flames and Leafs, but if nothing else it’s an interesting glimpse into what Brad Treliving has been trying to accomplish so far this off-season.