The Toronto Maple Leafs inked two of their restricted free-agent forwards to contracts today as the roster continues to take shape. 23-year-old centre Peter Holland was signed to a two-year, one-way contract that is reported to carry a cap hit of $755,000 per season.
Holland’s qualifying offer was $850,000, so it seems he was willing to take a bit of a pay cut to get the two years. The one-way deal doesn’t really mean much, as Holland would’ve had to pass through waivers to be sent back down to the American Hockey League anyway.
Unlike Holland, Carter Ashton, a 23-year-old right winger, accepted his $850,000 qualifying offer but the deal is only for one year and is two-way, meaning he makes significantly less if he is sent back to the minors.
I think both deals are pretty fair for all parties involved. Restricted free agents rarely have much leverage and given both Holland’s and Ashton’s relative inexperience, they still need to prove they can be regular contributors on an NHL team.
Holland has played 68 NHL games for the Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs, scoring 24 points. He’s been very productive at the AHL level, however, with 139 points in 154 regular season and playoff games. He’ll have a stiff test ahead of him to earn a bottom-six centre job out of training camp with Mike Santorelli and Petri Kontiola in the mix.
Ashton has recorded three points in 47 career NHL games, all with the Leafs. He’ll likely battle enforcer Colton Orr for a fourth-line wing spot, which should be his job to lose.