Leafs Busy In Free Agency
On the 1st official day of free agency the Toronto Maple Leafs were busy.
4 signings were made to shore up some lineup holes that needed to be filled.
First, the Leafs re-signed 2 goalies who will compete for the backup job behind Fredrik Andersen.
Curtis McElhinney was brought back on a 2 year deal that has a $850,000 AAV.
McElhinney came in January to bolster what was a weak point and provided needed depth down the stretch.
Though the numbers weren’t sparkling, he did give Toronto 6 big wins and one especially huge save against Sidney Crosby in the dying minutes of the second to last game of the season which the Leafs won, and clinched a playoff berth.
His veteran experience will be a welcome return to this young Leafs roster.
Garret Sparks was also re-signed for 2 years at $675,000 AAV.
Sparks spent the entire season with the Marlies. He had issues early in the season, being suspended by the team for an incident.
He has NHL experience and will provide organizational depth.
Then, the Leafs bolstered their defence signing Ron Hainsey to a 2 year deal worth $3 million per season. This was after the team lost fellow blue liner Matt Hunwick to the Penguins.
Hainsey comes off his first ever playoff appearance after 900 plus games and a Stanley Cup win with those same Penguins.
Toronto will be his 7th city he’s played in the NHL. He offers extensive experience to a young Leaf D.
His experience playing for Bill Peters in Carolina was a factor in joining the Leafs.
Peters was a former assistant to coach Mike Babcock in Detroit. Thus there are similarities in the style of system they employ. Hainsey felt the fit would be seemless.
The latest signing was the acquisition of Dominic Moore, a former Leaf, to a 1 year $1 Million dollar contract.
Moore returns to Toronto after playing here from 2007 to 2009.
The well travelled veteran comes from Boston where he appeared in every game and found a niche as a 4th line centre who wins faceoffs, can score a bit and kill penalties.
He replaces outgoing 4th liner Brian Boyle who signed with New Jersey.
The day has not ended yet and still something else could be done.
There were rumours of the Leafs being interested in Patrick Marleau of the Sharks.
Whether that comes to fruition or not is anyone’s guess.
Either way, this was a solid day for the Leafs. They’ve filled many holes and added to their roster depth.
They also didn’t overpay as no deal was longer than 2 years or over 3 million.
With looming contract extensions to Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander, roster flexibility and cap flexibility are of upmost importance.
The Leafs did not hinder that, while overall bettering their roster.