Toronto Maple Leafs Sign Liljegren, Tanev + OEL and Anthony Stolarz

Toronto Maple Leafs v Philadelphia Flyers
Toronto Maple Leafs v Philadelphia Flyers / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Timothy Liljegren have reached an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is two years long with an AAV of 3 million.

The Toronto Maple Leafs also signed Oliver Ekman-Larson and Chris Tanev to new contracts, somewhat upgrading their defense.

They also signed goalie Anthony Solarz.

Liljegren played 55 games with the Maple Leafs last season scoring three goals and recording 20 assists for 23 points on the year (Stats from NHL.com).

The 25-year-old was drafted 17th overall in 2017 by the Leafs and has been struggling to maintain his spot in the lineup throughout a full 82-game season.

Before this extension, Liljegren was making 1.4 million against the cap, so he was able to land himself a raise with a little bit of term on this deal. (Salary stats from PuckPedia.com).

Thoughts on Liljegren

Liljegren has been scratched in at least one game in the playoffs each season since he has been on the Leafs. With him making 3 million per year now, you can't have that salary sitting in the press box when it matters.

Part of that is on Liljegren but part of that is also questionable decisions on the Leafs part. Scratching him for Justin Holl was a questionable decision and scratching him for a struggling TJ Brodie last season was even worse.

Ultimately, I think bringing Liljegren back is the right move. He's 25 and is a right-hand shot who can move the puck. The Leafs don't have many right-hand shot defensemen or guys who can move the puck so he fits a need of theirs. While bringing him back is the right move the cap hit is a bit expensive for him.

With another 3 million dollars spent, it sounds like the Leafs have taken themselves out of the race for Zadorov. According to Darren Dreger, the Leafs are looking at Oliver Ekman-Larsson to fill a role on their blue line.

Liljegren needs to take the next step into keeping his spot and consistently playing good hockey. 3 million dollars is palatable if he takes the step into potentially playing on the second pairing but he is 25. Maybe that just isn't this player and if that is the case it is an expensive deal.

manual

As for losing Bertuzzi and Edmundson, signing Tanev, Stolarz and OEL we'll have more analysis soon.