Joined: Nov 2016
Starting this year the Leafs have an extra 6m without Phanuef, and next year it's 7 m for three years. So, you can't really look at the players in the trade, it's how the Leafs spend that new found cap.
It's similar to the Kessel trade. The Leafs got Kapanen and 1st rounder and 6.8m in cap space for I believe 6 years. So it's how the Leafs spend that 6.8m is the key to the trade. And the reality is Kessel had turned into a poor NHL player late in Leaf career. He revived his career with the Pens, but no way he was ever going to be good in Toronto.