So far in the free agent period, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been signing players left, right, and centre.
Dubas has been working like a madman all week, signing tons of free agents in an effort to push the Toronto Maple Leafs into a deep post-season berth. The signings of Wayne Simmonds, T.J. Brodie, Zach Bogosian, Jimmy Vesey, and Travis Boyd are further proof of this.
So far, Dubas has added some (much needed) defense and offence and is now focusing on goaltending.
On October 13, 2020, the Toronto Maple Leafs added a third goaltender to their tandem by signing Aaron Dell to a one year, $800,000 contract. Who is Aaron Dell, the man whose name sounds like the location of the movie Frozen (that’s for you Jeffrey)?
Dell and the Toronto Maple Leafs
Meet Aaron Dell, the 31-year-old Alberta goaltender who has spent his entire NHL career thus far with the San Jose Sharks. He becomes the third California based goaltender to join the Leafs organization, with former LA Kings Jack Campbell and Anaheim Ducks Frederik Andersen. It is also the only trait they all share, as they are all different ages and countrymen. As such, John Shannon has to appropriately thus christened them the “California connection.”
Dell is used to being the backup at the NHL level, having backstopped Martin Jones since 2015, but can step up at big moments like he did at the collegiate level. If Andersen has a terrible October (or the 2021 equivalent of it) as he often does, fans should not be worried about Dell possibly becoming the starter.
While playing for the University of North Dakota with former Leaf Matt Frattin, Dell received numerous accolades and surpassed Ed Belfour’s program win record. Of course, one could argue he was younger then, but he actually joined North Dakota two years later than most, coming into his freshman year at the age of 20.
I think this signing is another good move by Dubas during this offseason to make the Toronto Maple Leafs a better team. Freddie absolutely needs a lighter load during the regular season and the duo of Campbell and Dell will make sure we are not lost without him.
Last year the Leafs were done in by their back-up goalie situation, having no where to turn when Michael Hutchinson wasn’t up to the task. Credit Dubas for learning from his mistakes, as he has made sure that situation won’t repeat itself this season.