Maple Leafs acquire Ilya Lyubushkin in three-team deal with Ducks, Hurricanes

Shawn McKenzie and Luke Fox discuss the Maple Leafs' trade for Ilya Lyubushkin immediately after Mark Giordano went down against the Coyotes, why the move was necessary, and what Brad Treliving may target next at the trade deadline.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are bringing back a familiar face to shore up their defence depth ahead of next week’s NHL trade deadline.

The Maple Leafs have acquired right-handed shooting defenceman Ilya Lyubushkin from the Anaheim Ducks in a three-team trade involving the Carolina Hurricanes.

As part of the trade, the Ducks will retain 50 per cent of Lyubushkin’s salary and receive Toronto’s 2025 third-round draft pick. The Hurricanes will retain 25 per cent of Lyubushkin’s salary and receive Toronto’s 2024 sixth-round pick.

The Maple Leafs will receive the reserve rights to forward Kirill Slepets from the Hurricanes to complete the trade.

Lyubushkin is in the final year of his contract which carries a $2.75 million cap hit.

Lyubushkin played 31 games with the Maple Leafs in 2021-22 after a trade-deadline window deal with the Arizona Coyotes. The 29-year-old signed a two-year, $5.5 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres in the summer of 2022 after leaving the Maple Leafs and was traded to Anaheim ahead of this season.

The Maple Leafs have been looking for another right-handed shot defenceman ahead of the deadline for additional depth. Timothy Liljegren, the team’s only other regular right-shot on the blue line, is out with an injury and veteran Mark Giordano suffered a head injury in Thursday’s win over the Coyotes.

Lyubushkin is a stay-at-home defenceman, with just five goals and 43 points in 334 career games. He will take Giordano’s spot on the third pair in the short term and be another option for the Maple Leafs on the penalty kill.

Slepets, 24, was a fifth-round pick of the Hurricanes in 2019 and is currently playing in the KHL.

February 29, 2024 - 10:39 pm ET
tor Toronto Maple Leafs
anh Anaheim Ducks
  • Third-round pick (2025)
  • Retains 50% of Lyubushkin's contract
car Carolina Hurricanes
  • Sixth-round pick (2024)
  • Retains 25% of Lyubushkin's contract
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