TORONTO – The Toronto Maple Leafs made a trade to help their injury and suspension-addled center position and found a familiar partner to work with, the Anaheim Ducks.
The Maple Leafs traded minor league defenseman Jesse Blacker along with 2014 third- and seventh-round draft picks for forwards Peter Holland and Brad Staubitz. Troy Bodie was sent to the American Hockey League to make room for Holland.
Holland will be in the lineup Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres and will likely be on one of the top two lines.
"He's a big, young, skilled center ice man," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "He's been able to provide offense at the junior level and the American Hockey League level and he's going to get an opportunity to play with some of our better players."
Holland was a first-round pick of the Ducks in the 2009 NHL Draft and played four games under Carlyle in Anaheim in 2011.
"I viewed him in prospect camp and those situations more so than the NHL perspective," Carlyle said. "He's a big guy that played a lot of hockey in Guelph. He would be known more for his offensive side and probably has developed more into a combative individual and has allowed him to take the next step as far as being a … good American League player and now hoping to take the next step to be an NHL player."
The Maple Leafs are without centers Tyler Bozak and Dave Bolland because of injuries and Nazem Kadri because of a suspension. He'll be serving the second game of his three-game ban Saturday.
Each team held an optional morning skate with mostly scratches and injured players involved.
Each team goes into the game on a different streak. The Sabres have won two straight, and the Maple Leafs have lost three in a row. The Sabres defeated the Maple Leafs in Buffalo on Friday night 3-1.
"We are the ones looking for revenge tonight," Maple Leafs defenseman Carl Gunnarsson said. "We're going to come out there and go hard from the start. We want to get those two points tonight and whatever they do it's up to them. We've got to play our game."
Here are the projected lineups:
James van Riemsdyk – Peter Holland – Phil Kessel
Mason Raymond – Trevor Smith – David Clarkson
Joffrey Lupul – Jay McClement – Nikolai Kulemin
Frazer McLaren – Jerred Smithson – Colton Orr
Carl Gunnarsson – Dion Phaneuf
Jake Gardiner – Cody Franson
Mark Fraser – Paul Ranger
Scratched: Morgan Rielly, Carter Ashton, Nazem Kadri (suspended)
Injured: Dave Bolland (cut tendon), Tyler Bozak (hamstring)
Matt Moulson – Cody Hodgson – Drew Stafford
Steve Ott – Zemgus Girgensons – Tyler Ennis
Marcus Foligno – Ville Leino – Brian Flynn
John Scott – Cody McCormick – Corey Tropp
Tyler Myers – Henrik Tallinder
Christian Ehrhoff – Mark Pysyk
Rasmus Ristolainen – Jamie McBain
Scratched: Mikhail Grigorenko, Johan Larsson, Nikita Zadorov
Injured: Mike Weber (broken thumb)