It was announced yesterday that the Toronto Maple Leafs have signed Matt Read (RW) to a professional tryout.
Read has split the past two seasons between the AHL and NHL, with a total of 31 NHL games played over that time. He’s scored just 2 goals in that span, so while he could certainly serve as good depth and an injury replacement, I actually wonder if the Leafs intend to sign him at all.
Toronto has 48 players signed to contracts at the moment, with a limit of 50 being allowed under the CBA. With Mitch Marner almost definitely accounting for another, their total will go to 49 eventually (I hope). On top of that they also have goaltender Michael Neuvirth signed to a PTO. He plays a position that the Leafs are more in need of in my opinion, so if he plays a respectable game at all we should expect him to sign as well.
Unless GM Kyle Dubas intends to move out multiple contracts before the start of training camp there simply isn’t any room on the roster right now.
All of this makes me wonder if the Leafs are interested in Read for a spot on the Marlies, and are simply bringing him to camp to get a leg up on the competition when it comes to signing him to an AHL contract. He gets some exposure on a PTO while the Leafs angle their way in if no other team looks to sign him to an NHL contract. This could be a win-win situation for both player and team.
Either way, the veteran depth at camp can’t hurt.