Toronto Maple Leafs: Avoid Matt Beleskey

The Toronto Maple Leafs should be quiet in free agency this year, but Doug MacLean thinks they should target Anaheim Ducks forward Matt Beleskey.

From the Sportsnet article:

“He’s a guy to pursue in the off-season,” MacLean told Sportsnet 590 The Fan’s Dean Blundell & Co. “He’s had a great year, he’s a battler, he’s a physical presence.” (Sportsnet)

The Toronto Maple Leafs are well aware of the flashing lights of the free agent market and the crashes that happen from staring at them for too long. Fortunately, there’s a new regime in power and they can look back on the last tyrant’s mistakes and learn from them.

Matt Beleskey is having a solid playoffs for the Anaheim Ducks, and he netted over 20 goals for them during the regular season. Those are both good things for a player heading to free agency. His price-tag isn’t going to be small if we believe MacLean.

MacLean suggests Beleskey could get anywhere from $3M to $5M on his next contract – not to mention the insane term that UFA’s get.

$5M for a player who can, potentially, score 20 goals again. Sound familiar?

Was he a good possession player? Yeah, he was. He had a 54.00 CF% and a 4.23% CF% relative to the team. Those are solid numbers.

The concern is his contribution versus his dollar value. Will he score 20 goals again? His career shooting average is 9.9%, which is inflated by the 15.2% he sniped this year. For simplicity, if he shot at 9.9% this season he would have scored 14 goals based on his 145 shots. Is he a $5M player then? Not even close.

Beleskey at $3M is an attractive buy, Beleskey at $5M is not.

The Toronto Maple Leafs would be wise to remain out of a bidding war for a player who has scored more than 11 goals only once in his career and will be 31-32 years old by the time the Leafs are competitive again.