The Toronto Maple Leafs signed Victor Mete and Jordie Benn on Thursday evening, and last night they signed Calle Jarnkrok to a four year deal.
It’s hilarious to see how many Toronto Maple Leafs fans hated these signings on Social Media, more specifically Mete.
Although neither player is going to win any awards next year, they’re depth additions to a Leafs team is already among the best in hockey.
Mete is a young defenseman, who’s undersized but he’s solid on both ends of the ice and is really good at moving the puck. He’s also from Woodbridge, ON, which is where the most passionate Leafs fans in the world reside, so you know he’s going to work harder than ever to crack the big club and not be stuck in the AHL.
Benn, on the other hand, is the exact player Toronto was missing, after Ilya Lyubushkin signed with the Buffalo Sabres.
The 34-year-old has size and physicality, but most importantly, comes with a league-minimum cap-hit. He doesn’t provide any offense, but he’s a perfect addition in a depth role.
These Toronto Maple Leafs Signings Should Spark a Trade
As previously mentioned, by signing Jarnkrok, Mete and Benn, the Leafs now have nine NHL defenseman, as well as approximately 500 forwards.
The addition of Jarnkrok means that the Leafs now have Engvall (still unsigned, but likely back), Kampf, Jarnkrok and likely Aube-Kubal taking up four of seven spots in the bottom of the Leafs lineup. There should be a lot of competition for the other three spots, and that is never a bad thing.
The addition of Benn should mean the departure of Justin Holl, because you’d instantly save $1.25M in cap-space, which can be used to sign Rasmus Sandin.
Also, by adding Mete, this may mean that Muzzin is out the door, as well. Muzzin’s $5.625M could be better suited to acquire another top-six forward or they could sign a better defenseman who’s available in free agency still.
Maybe it’s John Klingberg, or maybe it’s a cheaper option like P.K Subban, but Muzzin’s contract is too high based on his injury history. He’s unfortunately been unreliable in the biggest moments due to health and Toronto could better suited finding another player to replace him.
The Benn and Mete signings are another example of Toronto using their cap-space correctly and finding depth at the league minimum. Both players are going to out perform their contracts and will be able to play playoff minutes, when that time comes.
As a result, expect the Leafs to now trade Jake Muzzin or Justin Holl to clear cap-space for another big name player.