The Nick Ritchie experiment with the Toronto Maple Leafs could soon be coming to an end.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman tackled NHL trade rumours in his latest 32 Thoughts column, and mentioned Ritchie’s name as a trade candidate.
“[The Leafs are] trying to move Nick Ritchie,” Friedman wrote. “There’s no path back to the NHL for him barring injury or until the cap disappears in the playoffs.”
Ritchie signed a two-year deal with an annual cap hit of $2.5 million with the Leafs this past offseason. Ritchie hasn’t played a game for the Leafs since January 12, and is currently with the Toronto Marlies, though he’s yet to suit up there, either.
“There is interest,” Friedman said of other teams inquiring, adding that the Leafs would likely only retain up to $300,000 in his salary since that matches an offseason buyout price.
It’s no secret Ritchie has underperformed relative to his expectations in Toronto, as he has just two goals and seven assists for a total of nine points in 33 games this season.
Last year, Ritchie had 15 goals, 11 assists to add up to 26 points in 56 games while playing for the Boston Bruins in 2020-21.
Ritchie was originally chosen by the Anaheim Ducks with the 10th overall pick in the 2014 NHL draft.
The NHL trade deadline is set for March 21.
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