Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators talking Nikita Zaitsev for Cody Ceci
Update Bob McKenzie: “TOR and OTT appear to have a tentative trade in place that would send Nikita Zaitsev to OTT in exchange for Cody Ceci. There may be another part or parts to it but the deal can’t be finalized until July 1, when TOR pays Zaitsev’s $3M signing bonus.”
- Bob McKenzie: “It may well be there is a sweetener going from TOR to OTT to facilitate Zaitsev for Ceci. It could be a player (Connor Brown?) or it could be a pick. But there will no doubt be some additional piece going from TOR to OTT.”
- Bob McKenzie: “Final word on this tentative transaction: It’s tentative. LOL. Can’t happen until July 1, which in my world means there’s plenty of time where for one reason or another it could go south. But intent is there for TOR and OTT to trade Zaitsev and something for Ceci. Now we wait.”
Darren Dreger: The Toronto Maple Leafs owe Nikita Zaitsev a $3 million bonus on July 1st. The Ottawa Senators are on Zaitsev’s no-trade list.
Darren Dreger: (as of 5:47 tweet) Zaitsev hadn’t been asked to waive his no-trade clause. “Could be a formality, however his relationship with DJ Smith could help make this happen.”
Elliotte Friedman: The Maple Leafs and Senators are working a Zaitsev trade. It might take a couple of days.
David Pagnotta: If the Maple Leafs are paying Zaitsev’s bonus on July 1st then trading him day, he’ll have to sign off on the trade. It appears that it’s likely at this stage.
Chris Johnston: It’s believed that RFA defenseman Cody Ceci is heading back to the Maple Leafs.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: Ceci went through salary arbitration last year and was awarded $4.3 million. It’s believed he was looking for a five- or six-year deal in the $5 to $5.5 million range per season on a new deal.
It’s believed the Senators were thinking a four-year deal in the $4.5 million range.
Talks between the Maple Leafs and Senators are moving in the right direction.
Thoughts from the media on the potential trade
Scott Wheeler: “If there’s truth to this trade: Take Ceci to arbitration and walk from the award. That’s literally the only play. If Leafs intend on signing him to term, it’s a lateral move (and maybe a downward one).”
Shawn Simpson: “Ceci for Zaitsev would be fascinating. Both markets are down on the player. Edge to Sens with Smith intel. Edge to Leafs moving contract, but depends on what Ceci signs for. Total wait to see. Huge risk on both sides. Love it.”
Steve Dangle: “Last word on it until it’s announced: Neither defender is great. Zaitsev’s contract is ass. Ceci doesn’t even have a contract. This could be awesome. This could be terrible. I’m sticking to my drinking plan though.”
Cap Friendly: “It is notable that if Zaitsev is traded prior to July 1, the receiving team has the option to nullify his modified-NTC. Waiting until his bonus is paid on July 1 prevents that opportunity, and the M-NTC will remain on his contract until it expires.”
Murray Pam: “Ceci is arbitration eligible, one season away from unrestricted free agency. Team can walk away if he files for arb. Zaitsev has
#Sens on his 10-team no trade list. If he waives, #Leafs likely add a sweetener due to limited cap space. Connor Brown could be on the move.”
Travis Yost: “I’d love to know why Zaitsev would even waive for this situation.”
Travis Yost: “This Zaitsev contract is brutal. I cannot believe Ottawa would take it. I really don’t. Unless they truly think he’s good.”
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) June 30, 2019