Everything must go! Leafs' fire sale long time in coming

Maybe Papa Lou is planning to conduct a daily sale right through until next Monday's trade deadline.

One day after selling off Shawn Matthias to the Colorado Avalanche, veteran Toronto Maple Leafsgeneral manager Lou Lamoriello was it again Monday morning in peddling Roman Polak and Nick Spaling to the San Jose Sharks.

The real net benefit between both trades are a fourth-round pick this June, a second-round pick in 2017 and a second-round pick in 2018.

All three players dealt over the past 24 hours are pending unrestricted free agents.

And as a used car salesman would say after making a sale, there's plenty more where those came from!

Other pending UFAs on the Leafs roster: James Reimer, Michael Grabner, Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, Mark Arcobello, Brad Boyes and Rich Clune.

Other players on the roster could also be had.

The Leafs' front office is all-in on the strip job, which was especially signaled when captain Dion Phaneuf was dealt two weeks ago.

It's the right way to go. The Toronto market has waited decades for this kind of approach. The long-suffering fans are getting their massive rebuild, finally.

Consider the draft picks alone in store:

  • The Leafs could have 12 picks for this June's draft, still to be determined is if that first-rounder from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Phil Kessel deal is for this June or for 2017, depending on whether the Penguins make the playoffs this season. Otherwise, the Leafs, aside from having all their own picks in each round, also have the New Jersey Devils' third-rounder, the Colorado Avalanche's fourth-rounder, the Anaheim Ducks' fifth-rounder and the St. Louis Blues' sixth-rounder.

  • The 2017 draft is also looking good so far, with the Leafs having picked up two extra second-round picks between the Phaneuf deal with the Ottawa Senators and Monday's deal with the Sharks. Plus, there are more picks coming in the next seven days, that is for sure. In addition, just as the Leafs were able to take on Raffi Torres' remaining contract to make Monday's deal work for San Jose, Toronto can continue to do that this week through the deadline: pick up salary and/or contracts in order to maximize return of assets. The Leafs have massive cap room to do so. Don't underestimate that weapon.

From the Sharks' perspective, they perhaps paid more than what some people would have thought for two pending UFAs who aren't major impact guys -- "Leafs got a good return," said one rival Eastern Conference GM -- but the Sharks got a highly sought-after rental in Polak plus didn't give up a pick from this year but rather 2017 and 2018. The latter was really important to San Jose since the Sharks don't have a first-rounder this year (traded for Martin Jones last June) or a third-round pick, either. They do, however, have their own second-round pick and two fourths.

Given that San Jose piled up a number of draft picks over the past three years while retooling on the fly, the Sharks in pretty good shape that way, anyway.

And in Polak they got a hard-nosed, character-oozing, third-pair defenseman who can kill penalties and block shots; he's a really nice addition. Spaling is a nice fit as a bottom-six forward, too.

It's a nice reward from Sharks GM Doug Wilson for the players in that Sharks room who have surpassed most people's expectations this season while challenging for the Pacific Division lead.

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