With two days of NHL free agency in the books, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been relatively quiet. They’ve let Dave Bolland, Nikolai Kulemin, Mason Raymond, Jay McClement and T.J. Brennan sign elsewhere and added Stephane Robidas and Leo Komarov while trading Jerry D’Amigo for Matt Frattin. Some would call it akin to shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.
Frankly, it’s a welcome sight to see general manager Dave Nonis and the Leafs show some restraint for once while other teams throw money around like it’s going out of style. Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post has more on Nonis’ comments after the first day of free agency, in which he said he’s certainly not finished making changes to his lineup.
One of those changes that could be imminent is the signing of free-agent veteran centre David Legwand. From TSN’s Darren Dreger:
Dreger on Team 1040: #Leafs are "heavily in the mix" for David Legwand.
— Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey) July 2, 2014
Alec Brownscombe of Maple Leafs Hot Stove took a look at some of Legwand’s numbers and found he could be a decent option to play some of the tough competition the likes of Nazem Kadri and Peter Holland aren’t ready to face at this stage of their careers. There was some chatter on Twitter he could be looking for around $4-million per season, which is pretty expensive, but on a short-term deal might be worth it.
In other free-agent news, former Leafs linemates Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin signed four-year deals with the New York Islanders. Grabovski’s contract has an annual average value of $5-million, while Kulemin’s comes out to $4.19-million. The Islanders are clearly going all-in for next season in a weak Eastern Conference, and although they had to slightly overpay for the two forwards, they’ve given their team some much-needed punch up front.
All in all, it was big day for agent Gary Greenstin, who represents both players. Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston spoke with Greenstin about the days leading up to July 2 and his approach as he met with teams.
I missed this from a couple days ago, but Justin Fisher of The LeafsNation wrote an informative recap on the Leafs’ picks from the 2014 NHL Draft. There are some intriguing prospects in this group; most notably, of course, their first-round pick William Nylander.