Toronto Maple Leafs Trade John Michael Liles

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t want to spoil the Winter Classic, but announced yesterday that they had dealt John Michael Liles to the Carolina Hurricanes for veteran defenseman Tim Gleason.

Both players are under contract through the 2015-2016 season.

Are we going to see trade movement pick up between now and the Olympic roster freeze, or will this be the largest move we see as teams are trying to figure out where they are at in the playoff race.

The Carolina Hurricanes also acquired the rights to Dennis Robertson, who is in his senior year playing at Brown University.

Liles has only appeared in six games so far for the Leafs this season and was a scratch for the Winter Classic.  The fact that he has only appeared in six games is an indicator of the scratch, or it could have been because they knew they were announcing the trade.

Gleason has played in 491 games for the Carolina Hurricanes, third most among defenseman on the team since moving from Hartford.

This is the second trade this week for the Carolina Hurricanes who sent Kevin Westgarth to the Calgary Flames for minor league player Greg Nemisz.

The Toronto Maple Leafs stand fifth in the Eastern Conference, holding their own because of a hot start, but have been a relative mess since opening the season as one of the hottest teams.  Carolina is in twelfth place but are only five points out of a playoff spot.