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From the Branches: Welcome to Toronto, Patrick!

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A lot of signings in today’s links, but one stands above the rest.

NHL Stanley Cup Final - Media Day Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Good morning, PPP! Yesterday, after taking Canada Day off to enjoy the fireworks and admire Toronto’s harbor duck, the Maple Leafs pulled out their big move! We have a Patrick Marleau now. Three whole years of him!

An underrated aspect of this signing? With the addition of Marleau, the Maple Leafs can now ice an entire lineup of skaters named Mar-.

As our own Gunnar Carlsson points out, we now have a matched set. If the Leafs went out and got Martin Jones as backup goalie, we’d be able to ice an All-Mar Team. A lineup of Martians, if you will. We’re all grateful to Mr. Marleau for giving us this opportunity.

On to your morning links:

ICYMI:

Leafs make underwhelming moves on July 1 - Pension Plan Puppets
That’s likely a good thing, but some excitement would have been welcome.

Patrick Marleau is now a Maple Leaf - Pension Plan Puppets
The soon to be 38-year-old winger has signed on in Toronto after 19 seasons in San Jose.

More Marleau takes:

NHL Free Agency 2017: Patrick Marleau signs with Maple Leafs [UPDATED] - Fear The Fin
Marleau heads east.

Patrick Marleau signed to three-year contract by the Toronto Maple Leafs | Maple Leafs Hotstove
This one’s a bombshell: Patrick Marleau has signed a three-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs worth $6.25 million a season. Marleau: year 1) $8.5M 2) $6 mil. 3) $4.25 — Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 2, 2017 With this signing, the Leafs have added to their enviable forward depth without coughing up any assets to […]

Other Signings and News:

The GMs are learning: NHL teams favour stopgap solutions — and avoid salary-cap hell — in free agency | National Post
Of the crush of players who signed new contracts on Canada Day, only a select few received deals of three years or more

Tampa Bay Lightning roster coming into focus with free agent signings - Raw Charge
With the additions of Dan Girardi and Chris Kunitz, the NHL roster is almost set.

Coyotes Sign Campbell, Hanley, Rinaldo and Sislo
The Arizona Coyotes have signed forwards Zac Rinaldo and Michael Sislo along with defensemen Andrew Campbell and Joel Hanley to one-year, two-way contracts.

Penguins Re-Sign Tom Sestito and Frank Corrado; Sign Casey DeSmith
The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed three players who played key roles in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins finishing with the American Hockey League's best regular-season record in 2016-17, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Florida Panthers sign Sebastian Repo to entry-level contract - Litter Box Cats
If I don't see at least one "Repo Man" headline next season I will be extremely disappointed.

Blackhawks trade Marcus Kruger to Golden Knights for future considerations - Second City Hockey
In other words, Chicago gets nothing as the Kruger era comes to a close.

Capitals re-sign Evgeny Kuznetsov, then trade Marcus Johansson - The Washington Post
With little cap room available and players still to sign, Washington dealt Johansson to New Jersey to accommodate Kuznetsov's new salary.