4 UFA Defenseman Toronto Maple Leafs Should Target

MONTREAL, QC - MAY 24: Goaltender Jack Campbell #36 of the Toronto Maple Leafs defends his net with the help of his teammates Justin Holl #3 and Rasmus Sandin #38 against Corey Perry #94 and Paul Byron #41 of the Montreal Canadiens during the second period in Game Three of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre on May 24, 2021 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - MAY 24: Goaltender Jack Campbell #36 of the Toronto Maple Leafs defends his net with the help of his teammates Justin Holl #3 and Rasmus Sandin #38 against Corey Perry #94 and Paul Byron #41 of the Montreal Canadiens during the second period in Game Three of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre on May 24, 2021 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins vs William Nylander of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

No. 1: Zdeno Chara

After dominating the Leafs for so many years on Boston, it would be awesome to see Chara in a Leafs uniform, despite his age. Until Chara officially retires from the NHL, I will assume that he can compete and play.

At 6-foot-9, 250 pounds, his size will always make him an important player on the ice and he’ll always be able to help your team, no matter his age. Even though he’s 44-years-old, there’s no doubt in my mind that he can play again next year and be effective.

As the third-pairing guy beside Rasmus Sandin, Chara would be a brilliant player to learn from. It’s not every day that you can add a former Norris Trophy winner and future Hockey Hall of Famer to the roster, so if Chara wants to continue to play, Toronto should 100 percent pursue him.

Over the past few years, Toronto has continued to try to add veterans to the dressing room, to counteract the youth, but it’s yet to work. Whether it was Patrick Marleau or Joe Thornton, it didn’t help get them past the first round, but maybe Chara could.

Chara actually has won a Stanley Cup before, unlike the two others, and knows what it takes to win. In a limited role on the third-pair, he could be a great fit for the youngsters in the Toronto Maple Leafs room and could help this team a lot.

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Also, he’d more than likely sign a league-minimum contract, which would be a huge bonus to the roster.