Toronto Maple Leafs: Top 5 NHL Free Agency Signings for 2021

The Toronto Maple Leafs made big moves to their front office. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
The Toronto Maple Leafs made big moves to their front office. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
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The Toronto Maple Leafs did not make any big name signings this summer.

The biggest thing to happen to the Toronto Maple Leafs this summer was losing Zach Hyman to the Edmonton Oilers (a contract that does not appear on this list).  The Leafs already have big money dedicated to three star defenseman and four star forwards, so there wasn’t really much for them to do in free-agency besides tinker around the margins.

With the NHL free agency period not yet a month old (it kicked off July 28th this year instead of the regular July 1 date), there are still a few decent, if not intriguing, names left on the unsigned list.

Players like Tuukka Rask, Sami Vatanen, Eric Staal, James Neal, Bobby Ryan, Alex Galchenyuk and Casey Cizikas are still out there waiting for a willing team with enough cap flexibility  to swoop in and pluck them out of free agency purgatory.  The Leafs have some cap flexibility because Alex Kerfoot and Ilya Mikheyev combine to make over $5 million and could easily be moved, however if that is  card the team is going to play, I’d expect them to play it closer to the trade deadline.

For the majority of the players who signed early on in free agency; however, July 28 must have felt like December 25; some teams were in a very giving mood:

Calgary gave Blake Coleman, who turns 30 in November, six years and nearly $30 million with a no-trade-clause (first three years) and a modified NTC (last three years); Edmonton locked up Zach Hyman with a seven-year contract at $5.5 million per that features a no-movement-clause for the first five years (M-NTC the last two) and Los Angeles inked Phillip Danault and his five goals in 53 games last year to a whopping six-year, $33 million deal that features a NMC for the first half of the contract before reverting to a M-NTC. Heck, even Jonathan Bernier managed to get a multi-year deal that pays him more than $4 million annually! (all stats and figures from

But despite some of these ill-fated monster deals, there were also some signings that should provide a favorable amount of value. Here are five free agency signings that stand out to me as providing the best value: