According to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports, Valtteri Filppula could have been included in the Brian Boyle trade to Toronto, had he not exercised his no-trade clause to reject the deal. The swap would have expanded if he had allowed it, something that fits in with what Bob McKenzie of TSN hinted at yesterday when he mentioned the Leafs.
Toronto has quite a bit of cap space due to their players on LTIR this season, and could use it to acquire some assets or a better deal on rentals that they want to bring in. Filppula causes a big problem for the Lightning going into the expansion draft as his NMC forces protection. The team has several forwards that may be left exposed because of their crunch.
He also has one year remaining at $5MM, something the Lightning simply can’t afford if they want to re-sign Jonathan Drouin, Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson. There isn’t enough money to go around in Tampa, and expect Filppula to be out at some point over the next few months (if not the next few hours). His clause gives the team only 16 possible destinations, but he may decide to waive it to go to a place that he’ll get more icetime.