Should the Toronto Maple Leafs Target Veteran Free Agent Known to Craig Berube?

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have a lot of home-grown players who seem ready to breakthrough (Knies, Holmberg, Robertson) a few possible returning RFAs (Bertuzzi, Domi, Lyubushkin) and some rookies who should get a look in camp at the very least (Kokkonen, Niemela, Minten, Cowan) so it remains to be seen just how active they will be in free-agency this year.

However, there is one veteran forward with ties to new Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Craig Berube that would make sense, and that player is David Perron.

Depending on what other moves they make between now and free-agency, Leafs general manager Brad Treliving could be interested in adding a veteran forward such as Perron, who is familiar with new Leafs head coach Craig Berube.

The two won a Stanley Cup together in 2019 with the St. Louis Blues.

Should the Toronto Maple Leafs Target Veteran Free Agent Known to Craig Berube?

Perron is a left-winger who scored 17 goals and 30 assists for 47 points in 76 games this past season.

He had an average of 15:38 minutes of ice time, 27 blocked shots, 111 hits, and 31 takeaways compared to 12 giveaways. (All stats from hockey-reference.com)

Perron is 36 and the Leafs likely wouldn't be looking at him as a top-line option, but he would be an excellent role-model for players such as Bobby McMann, Nick Robertson and Matthew Knies. And, if the plan is to give ice-time to those players, Perron represents good insurance if they falter.

With those players all cheap and looking to take a bigger role, Peron could be a cheaper option than Bertuzzi while bringing a lot of the same attributes, but from a spot lower in the lineup. The Leafs could sign Perron for a cheaper amount and use the cap space elsewhere.

Perron's salary cap hit last season was $4.75 million and is likely to be a lot cheaper this year. Bertuzzi's cap hit was $5.5 million last season and will likely increase. For the 2024-25 season, it would make more sense to sign Perron than Bertuzzi in the hopes of getting a player who can produce 40-50 points while also dishing out 100 hits. (All salary cap info from capfriendly.com)

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What do you think the Leafs should do? Re-sign Bertuzzi to a multi-year contract or take a chance with a one or two-year deal with a veteran like Perron? Maybe neither of those options is the correct one, and the Leafs decide to give a young player like Easton Cowan a chance. We'll find out in July which direction the Leafs decide to go.