By request... a collection of Leaf free agent signings since the Quinn era. Yay.
This isn't a terribly exciting post. I was too lazy to compile every single free agent signing - does anyone really care that we signed Greg Andrusak, Terran Sandwith and Brian Wiseman in July 99? - so I stuck with the big(ish) names, or at least guys who played a game for us. (And to be honest I'm tired and I've had a few pops, so there's a good chance I've missed a signing or two as well). There was no good source for historical salary info (not that salary really mattered pre-salary cap), so the only additional info I've included is age when they were signed. But even age isn't that important, since you had to be of a certain age to become a UFA back in the day (the new CBA allows you to become one earlier, I believe).
In any event, now that I've shat all over my post - here they are, your Toronto Maple Leaf free agent signings, 99-present.
|Jonas Hoglund||27||Ken Klee||32||Niklas Hagman||29|
|Gary Roberts||34||Joe Nieuwendyk||37||Jeff Finger||29|
|Shayne Corson||34||Clarke Wilm||27||Jonas Frogren||28|
|Dave Manson||35||Calle Johannson||36|
|Anders Eirikkson||27||Chad Kilger (waivers MTL)||27|
|Alex Mogilny||32||Jason Allison||30|
|Paul Healy||26||Eric Lindros||32|
|Bob Wren||27||Marius Czerkawski||33|
|Tom Fitzgerald||34||Alexander Khavanov||34|
|Bryan Marchement||34||JS Aubin||28|
|Ed Belfour||37||Bates Battaglia||31|
|Wade Belak (waivers - CAL)||24||Hal Gill||31|
|Wendel Clark||33||Pavel Kubina||29|
|Dominic Moore (waivers MIN)||27|
|Average age||31.08||Average age||30.833||Average age||28.67|
Just a few comments...
Quinn started off with a real bang, signing Jonas Hoglund. Seeing something in him that the Canadiens obviously didn't, the Hoglund signing will probably be remembered as Quinn's most significant, as without it Leaf fans wouldn't have a go-to person to cite when explaining that Sundin was never given any good players to play with.
Mogilny was a huge signing (only player besides Mats to lead the team in scoring in Mats' entire tenure), as was Uncle Gary obviously, and Eddie, after Cujo knifed us in the back. Corson contributed well enough before he went crazy, and I remember Fitzgerald being a solid 3rd liner, but that's about it in terms of impact signings. I hate that Marchement played for us - what an unlikable player.
JFJ gets props for Uncle Joey and for the Dominic Moore waiver pickup, and maybe the Kilger waiver pickup, but that's about it. Kubina's contract isn't so bad now that the cap's gone up, but at the time it was ridiculous. Everyone else - disaster, or pretty damn close. Calle Johannson? What the f8ck? It's remarkable how many of JFJ's signings never played in the NHL after their stint in Toronto, or played for only a short time after... Wilm, Johannson, Allison, O'Neill, Khavanov, Czerkawski, Battaglia, Devereaux, Gamache. Quite an accomplishment, ending that many careers.
I like all of Cliff's signings. Hagman's a steal so far at $3m and has been one of the few entertaining guys to watch this year, even if he has slowed down of late. Finger's probably a tad overpaid - maybe $2.5M would be more reasonable - but he's been pretty much as advertised, and definitely not a bust (yet). Ditto for Frogren - he hasn't been outstanding, but his willingness to hit just about anything that moves has gotten him in my good books.
I'm all for being patient and waiting for draft picks to develop, etc, but if Burke wants to go out and make this team competitive in the next 1 or 2 years via trades and free agent signings, I'm all for it.