Ville Leino has been traded to the Philadelphia Flyers. In return, the Red Wings acquire Philly’s 2011 5th Round Draft Pick and — in a clear attempt to gain favor with our good friend Andy from Norway — Ole-Kristian Tollefson.
Word on the street is that Tollefson has been waived by the Red Wings, with the intention of sending him to Grand Rapids. If no other team claims him, he will remain a Griffin until the salary mambo is done. If he is claimed, the Wings will have received just the fifth round pick for the once-touted Ville Leino.
For argument’s sake, Tollefson’s salary is $600,000, which is $200,000 less than Leino. If Tollefson is in Grand Rapids, however, his number does not count against the cap. The Wings are currently in salary shedding mode as they prepare for Johan Franzen’s return on Tuesday. By my count, moving Leino and sending Tollefson to Grand Rapids creates enough space for Franzen’s return. An additional $1.1M or so will need to be moved before Andreas Lilja can return — whenever that may be.
Interestingly, Tollefson will be a restricted free agent this summer – like Derek Meech. Should Tollefson not be claimed on waivers and remain property of the Red Wings, they would have the right to match any offer he received — or be entitled to draft pick compensation should they pass (this is all assuming he is qualified, which we learned is Holland’s prerogative).
Best case scenario: Tollefson is an additional trade piece in a future move, leveraging an additional pick or something.
Worst case scenario: Tollefson is claimed by another team in the next 23 hours, and the Wings traded Ville Leino for a fifth round pick.
Probable scenario: Tollefson toils in Grand Rapids and is a warm body in addition to the fifth round pick. He’ll likely be qualified and fetch an additional third round pick as compensation this summer. A third and a fifth for Leino is a pretty good return.