The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to re-shape its blueline as the trade deadline grows near.
The Maple Leafs sent depth defender Alex Biega to the Nashville Predators on Monday in exchange for future considerations.
As is the case with all trades of this nature, Maple Leafs fans will have to wait until the future to learn what these considerations ultimately are.
Having spent the bulk of the 2021-22 season with the AHL's Toronto Marlies, Biega will likely get a better opportunity at consistent NHL playing time in Nashville rather than fighting for minutes behind a crowded Maple Leafs blueline.
In 31 AHL games this season, Biega sits with one goal and seven points, going pointless in the two games he managed to draw into Toronto's lineup. At 33 years old, Biega is beginning to come upon the downswing of his career, and is set to become an unrestricted free agent at year's end.
The motivation behind this trade for the Maple Leafs, aside from giving a veteran perhaps one final shot at an NHL job, is clearing a much-needed contract spot. Prior to moving Biega, the Maple Leafs sat with 49 contracts out of the 50 teams are permitted to carry at one time. Freeing up an extra slot allows them the flexibility to continue adding as the trade deadline draws near, and perhaps even bring one of their promising collegiate prospects such as Matthew Knies or Nick Abruzzese into the fold for the final stretch.
It's not a terrifically eye-catching deal on paper. But shipping out Biega may just give Kyle Dubas the wiggle room he needs to bolster his lineup.