Toronto Maple Leafs: Every Pending UFA in the Atlantic Division

Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins vs William Nylander of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins vs William Nylander of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
1 of 8
Toronto Maple Leafs
Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins vs William Nylander of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs season is in pause.

We don’t know when there will be hockey again, but that won’t stop us from investigating potential free agents for the Toronto Maple Leafs to sign.

As noted yesterday “contracts remain in place until a decision from NHL brass is made about the future of the 2019-2020 season. That means the Toronto Maple Leafs will have to wait if they have eyes on a pending unrestricted free agent (UFA).”

In our four-part series, we break down a comprehensive list of each team’s pending UFAs. You can read the team-by-team listing of each UFA in the Eastern Metropolitan Division.

In part two of our series, we finish the look at the Eastern Conference by doing a deep dive into the Atlantic Division.

Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins had the best record in the NHL when the league went on hiatus. This might have been their year to win the Stanley Cup since they have a number of players who will be hitting free agency at season’s end.

Zdeno Chara

The Bruins have eight players with expiring contracts, five of them will be unrestricted. The most well known of the bunch is the large imposing defenseman, Zdeno Chara. He famously joined the Bruins in 2006 after the Ottawa Senators chose to keep Wade Redden instead of the Czechoslovakia native.

Chara isn’t the same player he once was. That’s not surprising after 22 years in the NHL, 14 of which were in Boston.

Now 43 years old, Chara may choose to retire instead of returning for more action. There is a good chance that if he does want to keep playing that he and the Bruins would want that hockey played in Boston.

Torey Krug

Torey Krug is the only other active Bruins defenseman that will become a UFA. He’s also another player that Boston will want to try and hang onto. His possession metrics are fantastic. Playing in all situations, Krug has a Corsi rating of 62.6 this season. That’s an impressive +15.2 relative to his team.

Krug’s AAV is $5.25 million for this year. He is sure to receive a raise on what could be a long term deal. Hitting the open market would be best for Krug to find the biggest payday. He may, however, choose to return to the only team he’s even played for in the NHL. After nine years with the Bruins, like Chara, Krug might want to re-up to stay in Beantown.

Joakim Nordström

The only Bruins forward to become a UFA is Joakim Nordström. He is a fourth-line center for the club and will probably test the market to see if a team is willing to give him a shot at an upgraded role. Nordström plays a safe game as a two-way player and as such doesn’t put many points on the board.

There is a place for Nordström in the NHL but as a depth piece, he shouldn’t be someone the Leafs chase. Nordström is currently earning an even million dollars for the year and will probably try to get a pay raise. With the cap being so tight for the Toronto Maple Leafs, they should look for an even cheaper player for their depth roles or bring back their own forwards with a small bump in pay.

Jaroslav Halák

The Bruins backup goaltender Jaroslav Halák is having a great season. Having played in 31 games, he has a 0.919 save percentage and a goals-against-average of 2.39. He will make a formidable backup for a franchise in need next year.

Kevan Miller

The last UFA on the Bruins is Kevan Miller. He is an effective right-shooting defenseman. Unfortunately, he fractured his kneecap in the 81st game of the 2018-19 season. The injury required surgery and as a result, Millar missed every game this season for rehab.

Miller may change teams next year but it will be a risk for any franchise willing to sign him. Taking a player who has spent extended time on the long-term injured reserve means that the organization is gambling that Miller could return to form.