NHL free agency day began with two rivals helping each other out of a jam by way of a trade.
The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired defenseman Cody Ceci, a 2020 third-round pick and minor leaguers Ben Harpur and Aaron Luchuk from the Ottawa Senators for defenseman Nikita Zaitsev, forward Connor Brown and minor leaguer Michael Carcone. The teams announced the trade early Monday, roughly 3+ hours before the start of free agency.
The deal represents a much-needed change of scenery for Ceci, Zaitsev and Brown. Zaitsev had asked to be traded and waived his no-trade clause to complete the move across Ontario.