The Toronto Maple Leafs have taken an extremely ‘2020 Bruins Trade Deadline’ approach to their offseason, adding both Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie to the mix within the last 24 hours.
The Don Sweeney imitation from Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas started with the signing of Kase to a one-year, $1.25 million contract Friday, and continued early Saturday morning with the inking of Ritchie to a two-year deal worth $5 million.
Ritchie’s move to the Leafs comes after a somewhat surprising did-not-qualify from the Bruins, and after the 6-foot-2, 230-pound wing scored a career-high 15 goals in 56 games for Boston last year. The Orangeville, Ont. native, who was acquired from the Ducks in exchange for Danton Heinen at the 2020 trade deadline, totaled 16 goals and 28 points in 63 games with the Bruins over two seasons, and added two goals and five points in 19 postseason games with the B’s.
Kase, meanwhile, appeared in just three games in 2021 due to another battle with the concussion issues that have plagued his career. The 25-year-old Czech wing was available for 20 total games between the regular season and postseason during his Boston run, with five assists and 40 shots on goal over that run. The Bruins acquired Kase from the Ducks in exchange for David Backes (with salary retained), prospect Axel Andersson, and a 2020 first-round pick.
After a year off due to that whole pandemic thing that created a temporary realignment and division-only slate last season, the Bruins and Maple Leafs will renew their rivalry with three head-to-heads in 2021-22.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.