3 Players The Toronto Maple Leafs Should Avoid In Free Agency

Edmonton Oilers v Dallas Stars - Game Two
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Chris Tanev

Projection: Three year $4.466 million

The Leafs were reportedly interested in Chris Tanev during the season but were unable to meet the demands that the Calgary Flames were asking in a trade. It is undeniable that he would have been a better addition than Ilya Lyubushkin and Joel Edmundson alas, it did not happen.

The acquisition of Tanev as a deadline addition would have been welcomed but signing him to a multi-year deal worth a not insignificant chunk of cap? Not so much. He will be 35 only two months into next season and with a long and extensive history of injuries, it is a contract that might not age well, fast. 

Over the past few seasons we saw what aging and injuries can do to a player and how quickly they can decline. This has bit the Leafs with Muzzin, Giordano, Klingberg, and Brodie all suffering quick declines with little to no notice. If this were to happen again with Tanev, it could severely hurt the Leafs so in my opinion, it is best to steer clear.

However, if Brad Treliving and Co. do opt to sign Tanev and in a best case scenario, we would be looking at an incredibly effective shutdown defender who could drastically improve the top-four the moment he steps onto the ice. But, sometimes the risks are not worth the cost and so the Leafs will have to be very cautious when looking at locking up Tanev. 

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The Leafs will need to make sure that they spend their money wisely this off-season. They cannot have a free agency like last season that was largely a mixed bag. This will become especially true if they lose out on superstar Mitch Marner.