Dec 29, 2013; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Vancouver Canucks center Mike Santorelli (25) skates with the puck against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Vancouver Canucks won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NHL Free Agency: Toronto Maple Leafs Sign Center Mike Santorelli

This morning I wrote about the fact that the Toronto Maple Leafs biggest need was a fourth-line center. Well, it appears they have found one in Mike Santorelli.

Santorelli is a six-foot-tall center who should fit well in the Leafs bottom-six. He could even push Peter Holland down to the fourth-line. In his six-year career, Santorelli has struggled to find a home as he has played for the Nashville Predators, Florida Panthers, Winnipeg Jets and Vancouver Canucks.

It looks like he will have a friend in the Leafs locker room in Morgan Rielly as Rielly tweeted this out in reply to Dreger’s tweet:

This signing keeps in line with what the Leafs have done so far thus off-season. Most of the players they have brought in can be described as heart-and-soul players. That, or they make the Leafs harder to play against.

This signing should end any David Legwand-t0-Toronto rumors. With the signings of Santorelli and Petri Kontiola, the Leafs have six players who can play center on the depth chart to go along with Tyler Bozak, Nazem Kadri, Holland and Komarov. Komarov and Kontiola will probably end up on the wings of the third line.

Are the Leafs done this off-season? Probably not, this is just getting started.

Tags: 2014 NHL Free Agency Mike Santorelli Toronto Maple Leafs

2 Comments on 2014 NHL Free Agency: Toronto Maple Leafs Sign Center Mike Santorelli

  1. Stan Smith says:

    At least their options are getting greater. Not only are they giving themselves more depth on the team, but also in case of injuries. It will be nice if their can get their RFA’s signed and still have cap room left so they don’t handcuff themselves like they did last seasons.

  2. A13276 says:

    Who woulda thunk that Nonis would have a cool $5 million in his sock drawer after all the bloodletting. That’s after accounting for recent signings and RFA money due. Now we can sit back and wait for a player of consequence to become available as a result of a team in CAP trouble without having to move money out or penetrating the 10% CAP overage ceiling. Good work Nonis. Talk about value for your dollars. The bottom 6 has been drastically changed and upgraded. Santorelli can fly, has hands and loves to bang; he became available because he was a find of the Gillis regime (Nucks fans aren’t happy seeing him leave); Kontiola (“I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know”) had 5 or 6 NHL teams interested in him; has skill and one of his strengths is reported as “running a power play”; Komorov will get all of Kulemin’s quiet minutes and dramatically help last year’s abysmal penalty kill (28th from 2nd when Komorov was here and we made the playoffs); Frattin can play and is tough on the puck. So we have an improved bottom six, penalty kill and defense. And Nonis still has $5 mill in cap space to burn and tradeable assets in Franson and Reimer. And don’t be too surprised that Nylander forces his way into the Leafs top 6; that’s his plan.

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