3 Depth UFA’s Toronto Maple Leafs Should Still Target

VANCOUVER, BC - MAY 03: James Neal #18 of the Edmonton Oilers skates with the puck during NHL action against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on April 16, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - MAY 03: James Neal #18 of the Edmonton Oilers skates with the puck during NHL action against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on April 16, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 4
Next
Toronto Maple Leafs, James Neal
VANCOUVER, BC – MAY 03: James Neal #18 of the Edmonton Oilers skates with the puck during NHL action against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on April 16, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

No. 3: James Neal

After getting bought out by the Edmonton Oilers, the Leafs could get James Neal on a very cheap contract.

It wasn’t that long ago that Neal was scoring 20 goals per season in his sleep. The former 40-goal scorer was lethal on the powerplay and played with an edge that made him a fan favorite.

Having grown up down the road from Toronto in Whitby, ON, Neal may not have any better options than the Toronto Maple Leafs.

As shown by the graphic above, the 34-year-old is more of a fourth-liner now who is pretty good defensively. He’s clearly not worth the $5.8M he was previously making, but on a one-year $1M contract, he could be worth signing.

Neal has a ton of playoff experience (110 games) and has been to the Stanley Cup Finals twice in his career, but has yet to win. He’s getting close to retiring, so he’d more than likely sign a discount deal to play for a contender.

Next. 3 Left Wingers Leafs Should Sign. dark

If he can find some scoring touch on the second powerplay unit, or find some time beside the core four in Toronto, he could revitalize his career for one more season. It may be a stretch, but on a similar deal to Corey Perry or Jason Spezza, Neal can bring a ton of value to a roster, and the Leafs should seriously consider signing him.