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Wednesday FTB: Can the Leafs make one more acquisition?

There’s a trade they have to make or they could sign another cheap free agent

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images

Alright, I’m not going to lie, this time of year it’s real hard to think of anything to write about for the FTB. When I was trying to come up with something, I saw a listicle from Sportsnet listing the top available free agents still to be signed.

We also know the Leafs still have a move or two to make. There’s a trade to clear the cap space they’ll need to be compliant, and a certain Rasmus Sandin that’s an RFA that has to be signed (or not). Alright, that’s all the inspiration I need to throw some stream of consciousness bullshit together.

So, can the Leafs make one more acquisition for their lineup?

Right now, they have the following players under contract:

Forwards:

  • Auston Matthews — $11,640,250
  • John Tavares — $11,000,000
  • Mitch Marner — $10,903,000
  • William Nylander — $6,962,366
  • Alexander Kerfoot — $3,500,000
  • Pierre Engvall — $2,250,000
  • Calle Järnkrok — $2,100,000
  • David Kämpf — $1,500,000
  • Nicolas Aubé-Kubel — $1,000,000
  • Michael Bunting — $950,000
  • Wayne Simmonds — $900,000
  • Kyle Clifford — $762,500
  • Adam Gaudette — $750,000
  • Denis Malgin — $750,000

Defense:

  • Morgan Rielly — $7,500,000
  • Jake Muzzin — $5,625,000
  • TJ Brodie — $5,000,000
  • Justin Holl — $2,000,000
  • Timothy Liljegren — $1,400,000
  • Mark Giordano — $800,000
  • Rasmus Sandin — RFA

Goalies:

  • Matt Murray — $4,687,500
  • Ilya Samsonov — $1,800,000

That’s 23 players if you count Sandin. The Leafs will not be running a roster of 23 players during the season, they’ll probably stick at 21 for most of the year. A couple of these players will likely be waived and sent to the Marlies, if they’re not traded or claimed. I’m looking at the list of Kyle Clifford and Wayne Simmonds. Maybe Gaudette, . I’d say maybe Malgin too, but man I have a hard time believing he left the Leafs to play in Europe the past two years and signed with Toronto again to be put on the Marlies.

And, again, we also know there’s a trade that will have to be made to create a cap compliant roster. Kerfoot and Holl are the two names brought up the most, but we’ll have to see who it winds up being.

But, let’s get back to the idea of the Leafs maybe acquiring another player to improve the roster, even if it’s just a bit. Looking above at the list of players they still have, and how many moves they’ll have to make just to get down to a full roster, it seems very unlikely. And it is! But this is the off-season period where nothing is happening, and my parents didn’t raise no quitter.

So here’s a little list of players still available as free agents who seem interesting, regardless of how realistic they are.

Phil Kessel

I mean... come on. I can’t not include him, if only just for the memes. But he also had 52 points last year on a god awful Coyotes team. Still has some value as a depth scorer. But also, the memes.

Sonny Milano

Coming off of 34 points in 66 games for Anaheim, a not-quite-as-bad-as-the-Coyotes team. He played mostly with Zegras, which sure helped, but his underlying impacts are also pretty strong. I’ll keep mentioning him on the wish list until he inevitably signs with another team.

Johan Larsson

Coming off 21 points in 43 games, which is a career best in points despite only playing half the season, Larsson could be a good play driving and decently producing fourth liner. He also has a history of strong two-way impacts. I’d say it would be a good option if I didn’t think Toronto just signed Adam Gaudette for the same purpose. But I’ve always liked him so I say: porque no los dos?

Daniel Sprong

Sprong may be one of the better offensive threats left and could be had for cheap, considering how many teams he’s bounced around. He has his warts, which is why he’s bounced around so much and could be had for cheap. But I will beat this horse no matter how dead it is: the Leafs need more scoring depth outside of their top two lines.

Alex Galchenyuk

Because lol

Anton Strålman

Bring him home!

Zach Aston-Reese

If they’re not gonna go out and get a Sprong or a Milano for offensive depth, they may as well lean into more pure defensive forwards who will prevent any and all scoring from happening for either team while they’re on the ice. Also Katya likes him.

LINKS FROM THE BRANCHES

2022 Maple Leafs Top 25 Under 25 Community Vote | by Katya. Make sure you get your votes in!

2022 TLN Prospect Rankings: #14 Mikhail Abramov | by TLN, who are going through their own prospect-ish rankings right now.

Michigan men’s hockey coach accused of berating staff, misleading recruits and retaliating against team captain | by The Hockey News

Q&A with minister of sport Pascale St-Onge: ‘I feel a responsibility to change things’ | by Sportsnet

And then there’s this. Not a lot of new information disclosed in the article, but worth a read.

Some cool news for women’s hockey. The Rivalry Series is always a great watch.

One of the big RFAs has been signed.

Seems like there’s more and more summer hockey exhibitions for funsies involving the occasional NHLer.

And what a legacy of success he leaves behind!

Have a great Wednesday everyone!