June 29, 2019 | 10:03pm ET
LEAFS, SENATORS TO FINALIZE ZAITSEV, CECI TRADE
Nikita Zaitsev, defenceman
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators have agreed to the parameters of a trade that will send defenceman Nikita Zaitsev to Ottawa and blueliner Cody Ceci to Toronto.
Zaitsev is owed a $3 million bonus payment on July 1 and once the Leafs complete that payment, the trade is expected to be made official.
Zaitsev’s 10-team no-trade clause also kicks in July 1, but the sides appear to have agreed upon waiving his NTC and accept a deal to Ottawa, as the Senators are one of the 10 teams on his no-trade list.
The 27-year-old Zaitsev has five-years left on his contract, which comes with a $4.5 million salary cap hit.
He requested a trade from Toronto, citing personal reasons, this off-season and the Leafs have been trying to find him a new home, which they now seem to have done so.
In 81 games with the Leafs this season, Zaitsev, who ranks among the players on the TFP Off-Season Trade Watch List, registered three goals and 11 assists for 14 points.
Ceci, 25, will become a restricted free agent July 1. Contract talks between his agent and the Senators were never believed to be close and a trade was the expected outcome.
In 74 games with Ottawa this season, Ceci registered seven goals and 19 assists for 26 points.
The Maple Leafs are expected to include at least one additional piece as part of the trade, though it’s unclear if it will be a roster player, a prospect or a draft pick. It’s also unknown if the Leafs will retain any of Zaitsev’s remaining contract, even after picking up his $3 million bonus.