NHL Trade Rumors 2011: Could Clarke MacArthur Fetch Ryan Ellis?

February 27th, 2011 by Matt Wiseman Leave a reply »

The rumor mills have churned out possibly the last intriguing trade scenario prior to the NHL trade deadline, this time involving Captain Canada, Ryan Ellis.

Over the past few weeks, the Toronto Maple Leafs roster has undergone some significant changes. General Manager Brian Burke has shipped out the likes of Francois Beauchemin, Kris Versteeg and Tomas Kaberle. In return, the Leafs have acquired Joffery Lupul and a number of future assets, including young prospects and high draft picks.

But speculation seems poised to continue to grow up to, and until the 3 p.m. deadline, Monday afternoon.

The most recent rumor, reported by Sportsnet, suggests that Clarke MacArthur may be shipped to the Nashville Predators in exchange for defensive prospect Ryan Ellis and J.P. Dumont.

Fans of IIHF World Junior tournaments will recognize the name, as Ellis has played for team Canada the past three years, most recently as captain a few months ago.  

Ellis was selected 11th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He is a small defenseman, but has the potential to become a puck-moving star in the near future.

Appearing in 48 regular season games with the Windsor Spitfires in the 2009-2010 season, Ellis scored 12 goals and 49 assists, to lead defenseman in scoring. He also added 3 goals and 30 assists in 19 playoff games, helping lead Windsor to their second consecutive Memorial Cup title.

Reports suggest that if this deal was to happen the Leafs would also have to take on the salary of Dumont, who is signed through next season to the tune of $4 million. But considering Ellis’ future projection, Burke may be more than willing to complete this trade.

If this deal were to happen it would see the Leafs parting ways with their top offensive player. Thus far MacArthur has amassed 19 goals and 29 assists, for 48 points in 62 games.

MacArthur signed as a free-agent in the offseason after the Atlanta Thrashers walked away from arbitration award that would have seen him earn $2.4 million per year on a new contract.  

As a result of Atlanta’s missed fortunes, Burke signed MacArthur to a one year contract for $1.1 million, but reports suggest that he is seeking a contract extension for at least $3 million per season.

Burke has to decide if MacArthur’s season is merely a flash-in-the-pan, or not. If Burke thinks that he can re-sign MacArthur for a reasonable price, he will no doubt keep him. However, according to Damien Cox of the Toronto Star, MacArthur may be demanding a price deemed too high by Leafs brass.

If this is the case, Burke will not hesitate to pull the trigger on a trade that adds young captain Canada to the Leafs defensive core. A deal that would most certainly come with mixed emotions in Leafs Nation.

Is Burke willing to break up the chemistry of the Leafs most consistent line this season, conceivably hampering his clubs most recent push towards the playoffs?

If he doesn’t think he can resign MacArthur to a fair price, you better believe he would.

This potential trade has the possibility to significantly benefit the Leafs in the future. Not bad for a free agent signing in the off season—not bad at all.


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