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Denis Malgin returns to the Swiss league

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He signed a four-year contract with ZSC.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

Swiss team ZSC announced that Maple Leafs RFA Denis Malgin has signed a four-year contract with their team that runs through the 2024/2025 season.

ZSC is the club he began with as a junior.

Malgin played last season for Lausanne, returning to the Maple Leafs after their playoffs, but never got farther than the practice ice. He was 13th in the NL last season in points per game for players who had more than 20 games played, besting Joe Thornton’s points pace by a little. That seemed to put him on the bubble of useful depth NHLer or press box extra.

Traded straight up for Mason Marchment in February 2020, Malgin seemed to be a player that just needed an open roster slot, and Marchment a confirmed AHLer. Since then, Malgin has played eight games for Sheldon Keefe going through the Jimmy Vesey experience on fast forward as he moved from top six winger to third line to five minutes on the fourth line to out of the conversation over the course of those games.

Marchment, meanwhile, played 33 games for Florida, a lot of them with the top line, and seems to have just had his job taken by Joe Thornton.

All three of these players make at or near NHL minimum, and the trading and signing of depth players is not the making of a team. It still seems interesting that the Leafs worked through all three (four if you count Vesey) and couldn’t find a use for them. The Leafs have yet another group of minimum or less forwards this year:

  • Adam Brooks
  • Kurtis Gabriel
  • Joey Anderson
  • Michael Amadio
  • Brett Seney

And, of course, Jason Spezza, who is the only bright light in that group.

The Leafs retain RFA rights to Malgin until he ages out, but it’s clear they aren’t any more interested in him then they are in a long list of tweeners who have moved to Europe lately. Whatever it is they actually want on their fourth line, they can’t seem to find it.