A Report Card For the Toronto Maple Leafs Free Agent Signings

The Leafs filled many needs on the first day of NHL Free Agency but was their money spent wisely? A closer look reveals a mixed bag of good and bad deals.
Toronto Maple Leafs v Florida Panthers
Toronto Maple Leafs v Florida Panthers / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages
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Matt Murray

Bringing back Matt Murray on a one-year deal for $ 875,000 is a low-risk, high-reward signing. The Maple Leafs have decided to give Joseph Woll every opportunity to win the starter's job. It's a gamble given Woll's injury history, so capable backups are necessary.

Murray is only 30 years old and has a championship pedigree from his days with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He and the Leafs are familiar with one another. Murray offers a higher ceiling than previous third-stringer Martin Jones and with major surgery behind him comes the opportunity for a fresh start. The low AAV and short-term make this a great move.

Grade: A-

Chris Tanev

Chris Tanev has been on Treliving's radar since last year's trade deadline. He did not have the ammunition to acquire the defenseman then, but was proactive before the start of free agency and acquired his rights for a late-round pick and a prospect. Treliving finalized the deal and signed the right-handed defenseman for six years and $27 million.

Tanev is the type of defenseman the Maple Leafs have long sought; a physical defender who blocks shots and plays a shut-down role against the opposition's best forwards. He plays defense first and will be entrusted in defensive zone situations.

He is used to playing a defense-first role beside an offensive partner, having done that throughout his career. He is likely to join Morgan Rielly on the Leafs top pairing. It should allow Rielly additional freedom to contribute more offensively.

The $4.5 million AAV for Tanev is fine. The problem with this deal is the term. Tanev's style of play makes him susceptible to injury. He will be 40 years old when this contract expires. The late thirties are a dicey time for a professional athlete.

Tanev is exactly the type of defenseman the Maple Leafs needed to add (age aside), but it's a huge gamble.

Grade C