Published: Mon, July 01, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Trevor Shackles - Ceci to the Leafs for Zaitsev?

Trevor Shackles - Ceci to the Leafs for Zaitsev?

The Toronto Maple Leafs have sent defenceman Nikita Zaitsev and forwards Connor Brown and Michael Carcone to the Ottawa Senators for defencemen Cody Ceci and Ben Harpur and forward Aaron Luchuk. Zaitsev has a $3 million bonus that is scheduled to be paid out Monday by the Maple Leafs before the deal is completed. A move to the Senators might mean more offensive responsibilities, and some added fantasy appeal, although he could take a step back in the plus/minus category, too.

Ceci's perceived value in Ottawa, like Zaitsev's in Toronto, is a point of contention within the fan base and, with that in mind, many in Leafs Nation could be scared away by this potential trade.

Much like Zaitsev, the 25-year-old Ceci has been a lightning rod for criticism related to his poor performances in the nation's capital.

Salary cap-strapped Toronto, which still needs to sign restricted free agent forward Mitch Marner to a new contract, clears $6.6 million in space.

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It had always been reported that Nikita Zaitsev was destined for a new home, and after spending the early part of their off-season attempting to find a fit for the defenseman, the Toronto Maple Leafs have sent the rearguard - as well as the final five seasons of his seven-year, $31.5-million contract - to the Ottawa Senators as part of a six-piece deal.

The 25-year-old Ceci heads to the Leafs after six years with the Senators, wherein he posted a total of 118 points while averaging 21:04.

An RFA with arbitration rights, Ceci was extended a qualifying offer by Ottawa last month. He had four goals and five assists in 27 games for Ottawa's top farm team.

Luchuk split last season between the ECHL's Brampton Beast and AHL's Belleville.

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