10 Best Remaining NHL UFAs for the Toronto Maple Leafs

Pius Suter #24 of the Detroit Red Wings (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Pius Suter #24 of the Detroit Red Wings (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
6 of 11
Toronto Maple Leafs
Tomas Tatar #90 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

6 – Tomas Tatar

Tomas Tatar is one of the more interesting players on the free agent market. At age 32 and able to play on either wing, he is someone who has looked both dynamic and disinterested over the past two years.

Prior to the 2021-22 season, Tatar signed a two-year pact with the New Jersey Devils worth $9M. In his first season, he wasn’t overly impressive. In 76 contests, the Slovakian managed to pot 15 goals and 15 assists. He then followed that up by returning to the player General Manager Tom Fitzgerald expected to see when he signed him. Tatar recorded 20 goals and 28 assists for a total of 48 points in 82 games.

Unfortunately, Tatar was invisible during the playoffs. When his team needed him the most, the winger was nowhere to be found. He scored just one goal over the 12 games he played in this past year’s playoffs. Where playoff success means everything, the Leafs should be very hesitant to consider bringing Tatar aboard.

A general manager will sign Tatar in hopes that his playoff woes don’t carry over to this year. It appears as though he will be available and interested in leaving New Jersey and heading to a new club. The hint comes from the forward’s behaviour during the Devils’ exit interviews after being eliminated from the playoffs. Tatar never showed up for his.

James Nichols tweeted, “Clarification on Tomas Tatar: He was here for exit interviews. He didn’t realize he wasn’t supposed to leave before seeing media.” Chances are that a 12 year veteran of the NHL knows he is supposed to engage in his exit interviews and was also likely informed by the Devils as such. It is speculated that the reason for Tatar’s absence was that he knew he would not be returning for another year in New Jersey.