The Toronto Maple Leafs entered Wednesday’s free agency period with one main focus, and that was to sign another goaltender. They were also hoping to find a top six forward to play left wing with Auston Matthews.
The first transaction the team made on Wednesday was a trade with the Minnesota Wild. The Toronto Maple Leafs traded a conditional seventh round pick to the Wild for defenseman Brennan Menell. The condition for the pick is that Menell must play in 30 games for the Leafs this season.
Before the free agency period even started, hockey insider Darren Dreger from TSN reported that Toronto was going to sign goaltender Petr Mrazek
. A few minutes later Dreger reported that the deal between Toronto and Mrazek was going to be a 3 year deal with a $3.8M AAV.
Toronto Maple Leafs on Free Agency Day
The Toronto Maple Leafs made the signing official at 2:38 pm. Over his last three seasons, Mrazek has a record of 50-18-8. Last season he had a 2.06 GAA and a .923 SV% with three shutouts.
The first depth player the Leafs added was right shooting defenseman Menell from Minnesota. The 24 year-old recorded 38 points in 47 games last season while playing for Dinamo Minsk in the KHL.
He will likely play for the Toronto Marlies in the AHL this season. In 199 AHL games, Menell has recorded 116 points. (All stats from hockey-reference.com).
The next player the Maple Leafs added was forward David Kampf. The 6’2 188 lbs center signed a two-year deal with a $1.5 million AAV. The 26 year-old recorded 12 points in 56 games last season.
During his time in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks, he has recorded 17 goals and 41 assists for 58 points in 235 regular season games. He will be competing for a spot on Toronto’s bottom six.
Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas then added some depth to the Toronto Marlies by signing forward Michael Amadio. The singing is a one-year, two-way deal worth $750,000 with $400,000 guaranteed. (all cap info from capfriendly.com).
It should be noted that as a non-tendered RFA signing a one-year contract, Michael Amadio will be an RFA next summer for the Maple Leafs and not a UFA.
For their next signing of the day, the Leafs signed right winger Kurtis Gabriel to a one-year deal worth the league minimum of $750,000. The 28 year-old is 6’4 200 lbs and will not be looked at for providing offense. He is a big gritty winger who will add sandpaper to either the Maple Leafs or Toronto Marlies lineup.
Gabriel had 46 hits in 11 NHL games last season for the San Jose Sharks. His NHL ice time average is around seven minutes, so if does get a chance to play for the Maple Leafs this season, he will be on the fourth line.
Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas then went out and signed left winger Michael Bunting to a two-year deal with a $950,000 AAV. Bunting is a former Soo Greyhound just like Dubas and head coach Sheldon Keefe.
Last season Bunting recorded 13 points in 21 NHL games for the Arizona Coyotes. He also recorded 19 points in 16 AHL games last season. With Zach Hyman, Nick Foligno, and Alex Galchenyuk all leaving in free agency, Toronto’s left wing position was thin. Bunting should provide decent depth.
Later in the day at 4:34 pm, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced that they had signed 33 year-old right shooting defensman Alex Biega, and 26 year-old left shooting defenseman Carl Dahlstrom. Both were signed to one-year, two-way contracts with an NHL salary of $750,000.
They will both play for the Toronto Marlies in the AHL this season. Dahlstrom will be interesting to watch, as he has the size (6’4 – 230 lbs) to survive in the NHL. It will interesting to see if he can further his development and make the jump to the NHL.
Most interesting is the PTO the Leafs gave to Josh Ho-Sang. There were rumblings Wednesday morning that Toronto might try to sign Josh Ho-Sang. Although the two sides couldn’t get an official deal done, the Maple Leafs were still able to sign him to a PTO for training camp.
If Ho-Sang can have a good training camp and make the team, he could end up being a nice depth signing for Kyle Dubas. Ho-Sang has seven goals and 17 assists for 24 points in 53 NHL games. The 25 year-old was a very promising prospect of the New York Islanders after recording 82 points in 66 games for the Niagara Icedogs of the OHL back in 2015-16.
Overall, this day might have lacked the excitement of years past, but the Leafs made some smart moves and avoided getting caught up in the craziness that saw many teams sabotage their futures with terrible deals.