The Toronto Maple Leafs appear to have a tentative deal in place to trade Nikita Zaitsev to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Cody Ceci according to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie.
There could be other parts to the deal, but it can’t be finalized until July 1 when the Leafs pay Zaitsev’s $3 million signing bonus.
There could also be a sweetener going from the Leafs to the Senators in the deal, it could be a player or a pick.
The 27-year-old Zaitsev scored three goals and tallied 14 points in 81 regular season games with the Maple Leafs. He played seven playoff games registering zero points as the Maple Leafs were eliminated by the Boston Bruins in game seven of the first round.
Zaitsev went undrafted in the NHL and played seven seasons in the KHL before signing a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Maple Leafs in 2016 carrying a $925,000 cap hit.
On May 2, 2017, Zaitsev signed a seven-year $31.5 million contract. He is entering his third year of the contract and carries a $4.5 million cap hit per season.
The Russian defenceman has 21 goals and 63 points in 223 career NHL games.
The 25-year-old Ceci scored 7 goals and posted 26 points for the Senators this past season.
A 2012 first-round pick. He has been a mainstay in the Senators lineup since the 2013-14 season.
He is coming off of a one-year $4.3 million contract.
The Canadian defenceman has 32 goals and 118 points in 440 career NHL games.