What Should the Toronto Maple Leafs Do With Their UFAs?

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Six
Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Six / Claus Andersen/GettyImages
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John Klingberg

Although many bemoaned the signing for Klingberg at $4.15 million this past season, it sucks that it unfolded the way it did. He only suited up in 14 games for the Leafs notching five assists before being sidelined for the entire season requiring hip surgery.

A once highly regarded top-pairing defender, Klingberg may be forced to retire or take a short-term low salary “prove-it” deal this summer. 

His projected contract is $1.64 million for one year, which the Leafs should not take. Injury history aside, the Klingberg gamble did not make much sense to begin with. Connor Timmins should be able to provide secondary offense and puckmoving ability for much cheaper at $1.1 million. Like Brodie, they should be open to re-signing Klingberg at or around league minimum if possible but the most likely outcome is that he walks.

Matt Murray

The Leafs shocked many when they activated Murray from LTIR and sent him to the Marlies for a conditioning stint. Although he struggled in his three games back, it does come after having bilateral hip surgery. Based on Marlies head coach John Gruden’s comments, he seemed to be a positive influence. 

Pinch me if you’ve heard this before but Murray’s inconsistent play has been an issue. It is made even more tough with this latest surgery. Hip surgery can be a new lease on life for some goalies like Thatcher Demko or Pavel Francouz. But it isn’t always a miracle procedure, like former Leafs’ prospect Ian Scott who was forced to retire after going under the knife. 

So, if Jones is wanting to move on, Murray could be an option to fill his role next year for the right price. His projection is roughly $800K which could be reasonable under the right circumstances. The only hangup is that the Leafs should hopefully have a more stable number one and two option in net before bringing Murray back to fill a third or fourth string role. Another option could be Murray signing an AHL deal to be a veteran presence in hopes of one day making a return to the NHL.