Shanahan: Trade discussions initiated at draft

Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan spoke to reporters about drafting smaller players and the trade market for his team at the draft.

One of the main storylines heading into the 2015 NHL Draft revolved around whether or not the Toronto Maple Leafs would pull off a trade involving one of their core players.

The Leafs made a number of minor deals Friday and Saturday, but nothing major materialized. From Brendan Shanahan’s perspective the draft was never about making bold moves.

“This is not the trade deadline,” the Leafs president told reporters in Sunrise, Fla., Saturday afternoon. “I did come here for the draft.”

That’s not to say the Leafs didn’t make any progress on the trade front.

“There were some discussions initiated here down on the floor with teams that are still alive,” Shanahan explained. “[Those teams] were under no rush, we were under no rush, so this was a good time for some initial contact to be made.”

Players like Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf, Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak have had their names bandied about in trade rumours for months and it’s expected the team will field offers for these players and others throughout the off-season.

“Nothing materialized that we thought was going to benefit the Leafs in any way,” Shanahan said. “We’ll see where we are in the next month or two. If we have to come to camp and we don’t have everything done that we wanted to get done that’s fine.

“We have a great coach that we think in a lot of ways can help some of these guys. This is not a process that we thought we needed to do over a matter of weeks. This is going to be a process that’s going to take a matter of years.”

Shanahan added that he doesn’t expect the Maple Leafs to make a big splash when free agency opens on July 1.

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