3 Bargain Targets for the Toronto Maple Leafs in Free Agency

Kyle Dubas, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Kyle Dubas, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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Alex Galchenyuk, Toronto Maple Leafs center
Alex Galchenyuk, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports) /

Alex Galchenyuk

Versatility is always a good thing to have. That’s what the Toronto Maple Leafs have in Alex Galchenyuk. Why not bring him back?

As of this article, there is no word of a deal reached between the Leafs and Gally. I don’t see why nothing came to fruition yet. That is unless the forward is asking for a big buck.

Considering he was a third overall pick, you can say he was a bust. That’s not to say he isn’t a solid NHL player. Let’s take a look.  During his career as a Hab, Galchenyuk kept his superstar potential in check. In 418 games with the team, he averaged 0.61 points per game, albeit a -34 plus-minus. That includes a 30+ goal campaign and two 50+ point seasons.

His career outside Montreal has been a little more questionable. Stints with the Arizona Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild, Ottawa Senators, and Toronto Maple Leafs mark teams’ uncertainty of the former highly-regarded player.

Alex’s most successful season since his grand departure came in his first season away from the Canadiens. That was when he put up 41 points in 72 games with the Coyotes. Since then, he has 37 points in 97 games. That averages 0.21 fewer points per game than his career as a Hab.

With all the red flags, why should Dubas hand Galchenyuk a contract? For one, he showed the flashes of potential last season in Toronto. While 12 points in 26 games aren’t something to brag about, five points in his last seven regular-season games are.

Gally needs to play with skaters that can feed him the puck in dangerous situations. As a goal-scorer, it is up to him to finish the play by putting the puck in the net. Who can set him up better than Mitch Marner or Auston Matthews? Not many.

With Zach Hyman leaving the team, a top-six role is open for the taking. That means Gally would get the opportunity to be an everyday top-six player in Toronto. It would be the best chance for the former third-overall selection to live up to the hype he once received.

Dubas would be wise to bring the forward back on a cheap short-term deal. Anything long-term or more than $3 million against the cap is a far fetch. Thankfully I see a deal getting done to ease Toronto’s cap crunch and give Alex Galchenyuk a much-needed confidence boost.