The Toronto Maple Leafs continued to add depth to their wings by signing free agent and former Anaheim Ducks forward Daniel Winnik to a one-year deal worth 1.3-million. The 29-year-old is coming off his best offensive year as an NHLer with six goals and 30 points in 76 games, playing over 15 minutes per game for the high-scoring Ducks. Looking at his stats, it’s pretty bizarre that it took so long for a team to scoop him up.
The signing is the latest in a nice little run of smart, low-risk additions by the Leafs to help fill out their forward corps. Winnik is a good possession player, so this signing was probably influenced by new assistant general manager and stats wizard Kyle Dubas. Winnik could be a great option for the Leafs’ new-look fourth line, which might include Peter Holland, Leo Komarov or Matt Frattin. Winnik can play either left wing or centre, so the Leafs add some versatility as well.
Given the number of bodies the Leafs will have at training camp, this is probably the end of Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren in a Leafs’ uniform, which is great news. Mike Santorelli, David Booth, David Clarkson, Petri Kontiola, Komarov, Frattin, Holland and Winnik will all compete for spots six through 12 at forward.