Happy Canada Day! On this important day in our nation’s history, many Canadians will spend it at the cottage or on the beach with family and friends, but they probably won’t be too far away from a television or computer. Because, of course, today is the opening of NHL free agency, and there are bound to be plenty of players signing with new teams.
The Toronto Maple Leafs were very active this time last year, buying out Mikhail Grabovski, re-signing Tyler Bozak and signing David Clarkson. They also made a draft-day trade in 2013 to bring in Dave Bolland from the Chicago Blackhawks. One year later, Bolland is set to test free agency and can sign for whichever team he wants.
Other Leafs from last season in Nikolai Kulemin, Mason Raymond, Paul Ranger and Jay McClement are all set to hit unrestricted free agency when the clock hits noon Eastern Time. According to insiders like Darren Dreger of TSN and Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, the Leafs haven’t made significant headway in contract talks with any of their UFAs, so don’t be surprised if many of them sign with other teams. I’ve already pre-ordered my Kulemin Penguins jersey.
Follow along in the comments section as we post and react to the latest on what’s going on around the league. Can the Leafs sign one of the big fish like Paul Stastny, Ales Hemsky or Anton Stralman? Or will they settle for second-tier players like David Legwand, Dan Boyle or Stephane Robidas? We’re less than two hours away from finding out.