Going into free agency this year, Kyle Dubas and the Maple Leafs needed a top line left wing and a second goalie. They got one of those things.
They also signed a couple of potential middle six forwards:
There were also some tweeners, AHLers and depth options:
Josh Ho-Sang to Leafs on a PTO
Leafs Sign Defenders Alex Biega, Carl Dahlstrom
Maple Leafs sign Kurtis Gabriel
Maple Leafs sign Michael Amadio from Sault Ste. Marie
Maple Leafs acquire AHL defenseman Brennan Menell from Minnesota
In comments late in the afternoon, Dubas addressed his lack of winger additions:
Kyle Dubas on replacing Zach Hyman:— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) July 28, 2021
"We're going to be counting on the continued growth of our players and then potentially putting Alex Kerfoot on the wing as needed. He's shown that ability and it's been an asset for us. We took a shot today with Michael Bunting [too]."
Dubas says they'll continue to monitor the market.— David Alter (@dalter) July 28, 2021
Says they'll wait for the second wave of wingers that might be available on the market to see Toronto as a possible fit.
Says they'd like to stay flexible and stay under the cap.
It’s not clear what second wave he’s referring to here, unless he thinks (or knows) there are trades possible from teams that are now a little tight on the salary cap.
Currently unsigned forward free agents who could play on the top six are David Krejci, Tomas Tatar, Brandon Saad and perhaps Pius Suter.
There was chatter linking the Leafs to Marcus Johansson, who has a stat line from last year nearly identical to Alex Galchenyuk. Both of those players could be bargain options, but hardly inspire confidence on the top line.
While the improvement in goal is obvious, the rest of this leaves the team looking worse than it was last year, and with about $2-3 million in cap space, depending on the size of the roster.
We await word on who will play 1LW for that money.