The Toronto Maple Leafs have finally waded into this year's UFA market and have added a center in Tim Connolly. Connolly should be familiar to Leafs fans as a frequent LTIR placeholder on the Buffalo Sabres but I think this is a good deal.
Connolly comes to the Leafs for two years at $4.75M per. Given the deals for Ville Leino and Erik Cole yesterday I'd say it's pretty hard to describe this as an overpayment; especially given that Tim Connolly took two years and that likely drove the price up.
There are obvious injury concerns with a guy who's averaged 71 games the past two seasons and played exactly 48 in each of the two before that. The season before those four he missed 80 games. The silver lining here is that if Connolly plays 70 games there will be about 12 games for Nazem Kadri and Joe Colborne to pivot between Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel.
The Leafs have a pile of cap space; on any deal where they keep the term low and sign a useful player there's no way to criticize. Tim Connolly may not be an all star but he's a huge upgrade over Tyler Bozak. I like this.