Big Signing!

Erik Westrum Signs
No, it is not the Mike Peca signing that we have been waiting on with bated breath. The Leafs signed Erik Westrum to a two year, two-way deal and of course,

In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.


Sometimes, seeing that is scary because it makes me think that the Leafs have made some egregious mistake (couldn't they have left the terms of McCabe's deal undisclosed? that would have saved me a lot of grief). I guess Westrum is one more player trying out for the 4th line.

Who is Erik Westrum?
Well wouldn't you know it? He shares my birthday! As you can see, aside from being an assertive Leo, he also put up some pretty good numbers at the University of Minnesota while captaining our very own Back Door Johnny Pohl (apparently he was a role model for Havlat) before beginning a middling career in the AHL (as 187th overall picks are wont to do). However, that all changed with the new rules last year when Westrum broke out to put up 34-63-98 in 71 games as well as 138 PIM. At an even 6 feet and 204 pounds he is bigger than Tucker and Wellwood so I guess that is a plus.

Analysis
Well this Minnesota Wild message board seems to be split between 4th liner and career AHLer. That does not really get my heart racing but he sounds like the kind of cheap, agitator that teams are filling out their 4th lines with so maybe he's not a bad addition. At least we know he has better hands than Clarke Wilm. Also, combined with the Aleksander Suglobov deal JFJ is building quite the team in Toronto. Unfortunately, they play at Ricoh Coliseum. Dammit.

Update (July 14, 2006)
Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun has more details about the signing. Apparently, Westrum will make the minimum whether he is with the Marlies or the Leafs and after that he'll make the minimum or $100,000 depending on whether he has made the grade.

Also, JFJ reinforces my initial observation that Westrum will be vying for that last line or be helping out the Marlies,

"(Westrum) plays a solid, gritty two-way game and more recently has demonstrated his ability on offence," Leafs general manager John Ferguson said. "He will be given an opportunity to compete for an NHL job and otherwise represents solid depth for the organization."

 

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