Did you hear? The Toronto Maple Leafs have won the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery (aka The Austin Matthews Sweepstakes). They will pick first overall at the draft…and it’s expected that the Phoenix born and raised Matthews will be scooped up by the Buds.
But wait! What if the Maple Leafs decide to trade the first pick to someone else?
Ok, not damned likely BUT it wouldn’t be completely out of the question. It’s happened before. Let’s face it, the Phoenix Coyotes would love to have homegrown lad, Austin Matthews in a Coyotes jersey. The NHL (Gary Bettman) would love it. It’d be just the positive kick in the ass the struggling franchise could use.
Granted the situation is different than that of Eric Lindros in 1992 but a franchise player going to one team in exchange for a chunk of great young players and picks could benefit both teams.
After all was said and done…here’s what the Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche got in exchange for Lindros: Ron Hextall, Steve Duchesne, Mike Ricci, Kerry Huffman, Peter Forsberg, a first-round pick in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, $15 million, and future considerations.
For the record, the Nords were also engaged in trade discussions with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, and Detroit Red Wings (who would be willing to trade Steve Yzerman, Steve Chiasson, and numerous draft picks. Yzerman indicated that he would also hold out from the Nordiques, should Detroit trade him to Quebec).
Like I said, not likely to happen but it’s food for thought (Phoenix has some great young talent that I’m sure they’d be willing to part with for the local kid. Max Domi would look good in a Leafs jersey don’t you think?).