The Undervalued, Super Cheap UFA The Toronto Maple Leafs Should Sign

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 17: Alex Galchenyuk #18 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on January 17, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 17: Alex Galchenyuk #18 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on January 17, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have committed most of the money they have to spend on star players for next season.

We may not have any idea what the Shutdown is going to do next year’s salary cap, but it’s a good bet the Toronto Maple Leafs will be on the lookout for value laden contracts.

But really, this is something they’d do regardless.

While most teams want to fill their roster with a large amount of average players, the Leafs have at least six elite core players locked up for next season – Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, Morgan Rielly and Freddie Andersen.

In order to afford those guys, the Leafs have to find deals to fill in the rest of their roster.  This might seem like a bad thing, but in a salary cap league, the goal of every team should be to find deals anyways.

Toronto Maple Leafs in Free Agency

The recent signing of Alex Barabanov, despite no real need for what he brings to the roster shows that Toronto understands that replacing Andreas Johnsson and Kasperi Kapanen (who combine for a nearly $7 million dollar cap hit) can free up much needed money.

There is one free agent who might provide similar value to Barabanov: Alex Galchenyuk.

As recently as the start of last season, Galchenyuk was seen as a star in the making.  Galchenyuk scored 30 goals and almost 60 points at age 21 and looked well on his way to being an elite player.

He was traded by Montreal to Arizona, who traded him to Pittsburgh, who traded him to Minnesota. He will be an unrestricted free-agent after this season. 

Galchenyuk’s value couldn’t be lower right now.  He is only 26, however, and he’s got first-line talent.  He is the perfect player to offer a one-year show-me contract to.

He can come to a cup contender, and play on one of the best third lines in the NHL with Barabanov and Kerfoot.  He’d be dirt-cheap, and the Toronto Maple Leafs could sell him on the benefits of kick starting his career in the league’s biggest market.

This would be a low-risk, high-reward move for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The 2.09 points per 60 (first line rate) and 51% CF rating in 14 games with the Wild shows he can still play.  The Leafs would be smart to sign him and give him a chance to revive his career. (Naturalstattrick.com).

Next. Leafs Top 10 Prospects. dark

The only weird thing would be playing a line with three guys named Alex on it, however I think it’d work out OK, as most teams can’t come close to dressing such a good third line.