According to Matt Brown of Sportsnet 590 The Fan, the Toronto Maple Leafs and defenseman Mark Fraser have come to an agreement on a one-year deal, worth $1.275 million, avoiding salary arbitration that was scheduled for later today.
The 26-year-old put up eight points in 45 regular season games with the Maple Leafs this past season and ranked first among all NHL defensemen in penalty minutes, second in hits (153) and third in plus/minus (+18). Fraser also led the Leafs in plus/minus and blocked shots (102).
In 143 regular season games with the New Jersey Devils and Maple Leafs, Fraser has put up three goals and 13 assists for 16 points.
The 6’4″, 220-pound defenseman was originally drafted by the Devils in the third round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, but was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in December 2011 and then traded to the Maple Leafs in 2012.
Two days ago, Darren Dreger reported Fraser’s camp was asking for $2-million, while the Maple Leafs countered with an offer of $855,000 (two-way).
However, Fraser does come in at a fairly reasonable cap hit of $1.275m, which now leaves the Maple Leafs with around $5-million left in cap space to re-sign restricted free agents Nazem Kadri and Cody Franson. It’s possible the Leafs can squeeze both Kadri and Franson under the cap, but it will be tough. They do, however, have a few options to make the cap work.
The remainder of the summer in Leafs Nation should be interesting.
The Maple Leafs announced today via Twitter that Leafs centre Dave Bolland will wear No. 63 for this upcoming season. Bolland will be the first Leaf to wear the number in franchise history.
Also, Bolland will be doing his own parade with the Stanley Cup in Mimco, Ontario this Thursday afternoon.
Other players in the Maple Leafs system without numbers, per MapleLeafs.com: