Well, here we are another free agency window has opened for Kyle Dubas and the Toronto Maple Leafs and it didn’t take long for Toronto to get to work. Literally minutes after the window opened Toronto announced that they had signed Ilya Samsonov to a one-year contract worth 1.8 million dollars. If you remember in my previous article where I talked about possible goaltending options for the Leafs I talked about Samsonov and said that I felt, he was the best option for the Leafs and adding him will compliment Matt Murray in goal. There is question that for this season the Leafs are going to ride the hot hand in goal unlike previous seasons where Freddie Andersen or Jack Campbell was the team’s sure number one’s when they held the position.
The Leafs would say goodbye to the likes of Ilya Mikheyev and Colin Blackwell and replaced them with Nicolas Aube-Kubel for one year at 1 million dollars. Aube-Kubel who infamously will be remembered for dropping the Stanley Cup during the Avs cup celebration but more importantly he collected 22 points in 67 games and his speed will be a nice addition to this Leafs lineup.
They would then add Adam Gaudette with a 1-year contract worth a league minimum $750,000 deal. This is a low-risk contract for Dubas but Adam who last season in Ottawa managed just 12 points in 50 regular season games. For Gaudette to be successful as a bottom six forward in Toronto he in my opinion needs to play a style of hockey that sees him play in the “dirt areas” and with the talent that is already in place on this roster he has a real strong opportunity to collect some points and add some important depth scoring for the Leafs. Of course, if this signing doesn’t pan out the way Dubas hopes then he can easily be sent down to the Marlies or moved for a draft pick and sent to a team where he has an opportunity too succeed.
As I started writing this article it was announced that the Leafs are attempting to reunite with Denis Malign who spent last season playing in his native Switzerland for Zurich where he registered 21 goals and 31 assists in 48 games not to mention at last years World Championships, he had a respectable 12 points in 8 games. It’s going to be a challenge for Malgin to find an everyday spot in this lineup but remember it’s an 82-game season and injuries will happen so Malgin will likely get an opportunity with the Leafs but it entirely up to him on what he does with said opportunity.
As far as signings so far this is it and something I want to address is the panic in this fanbase. The biggest problem Leaf fans have is they watch TSN or Sportsnet and hang off every single word the talking heads say. For anyone who was working today and were unable to watch the first day coverage let me quickly summarize TSN analyst Craig Button’s opinion. “The Leafs are bad” but what he leaves out is “I’m bitter because the Leafs fired me”. It honestly doesn’t matter what Toronto does he will dislike the move. Today he talked about how Toronto is taking a risk on their goalies in Murray and Samsonov. Please allow me to let everyone who reads this in on a little secret, EVERY SINGLE SIGNING TODAY IS A RISK! Of course, Toronto is taking a risk in adding Murray who has battled injuries, but Washington is taking a risk adding Kuemper to their lineup at $5.25 million over the next five years. Edmonton signed Jack Campbell to a $25 million deal over five years that’s a risk. Do you know what else was looked at as a risk when the news was announced? When Toronto traded for Jack Campbell to replace Michael Hutchinson. It was looked upon as a risk because at the time Campbell wasn’t a proven starter but when he arrived in Toronto, he in my opinion handled the opportunity very well and the support from the fanbase backs up how successful he was as the Leafs starting goalie. I have seen plenty of doubt and frustration online from the fans and my question to those people is simply why? This team is not done making changes remember free agency isn’t the trade deadline you don’t need to sign every single target today you have all summer to sign players. Dubas said this afternoon they are still looking for help on Defense so how about everyone who is pushing the panic button because Craig Button who hasn’t been a General Manager in the league for two decades says so, everyone needs to take a deep breath and relax and trust that Kyle will sort it all out. I just want to remind people that back in 2013 when the Leafs signed David Clarkson all the talking heads that everyone seems to trust said it was a great signing by the Leafs and well, every Leaf fan knows exactly how David Clarkson’s time in Toronto went, that’s all for this one thanks as always for reading and if there are anymore signings tonight, I will tweet them out and try and write a quick article for any future move.
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