The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today the signing of centre Calle Järnkrok to a four year contract with $2.1 million annually. Järnkrok spent last season in Seattle, before getting traded to Calgary. He had 12 goals and 26 points in the regular season as well as a goal and four points in 12 playoff games for Calgary.
🖊 We’ve signed forward Calle Järnkrok to a four-year contract.#LeafsForever— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 15, 2022
Järnkrok, who will be 31 when the season starts, played in a top-six complimentary forward role (both centre and wing) for both Seattle and in Nashville where he spent his first eight seasons in the league. In Calgary he was used on the third line with Blake Coleman and Dillon Dubé as their centre.
As for his role on the Leafs, that’s where speculation and question marks start flying. Is he the proverbial Alex Kerfoot replacement at a cheaper number to go on the second line with Tavares and Nylander? He would definitely fit there due to his strong finishing and defense. Or is he surprisingly going to be cheaper than the Leafs expect Pierre Engvall to be and they’re planning to trade him before arbitration starts? Or is he simply pushing Kerfoot down the lineup to make a strong possession third line with Kaše now in Carolina? If so, where does the money come from? Letting go of Justin Holl or Rasmus Sandin would do it.
Calle Järnkrok (traded to Calgary at 50% retained in exchange for a second this year, a third next year, and fourth the year after that) is a good primarily defensive forward with a very good finish. He need not take anybody's powerplay minutes. pic.twitter.com/iUeOq7YdGc— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) March 17, 2022
If last year was an aberration, signing Calle Jarnkrok to a four-year deal at $2.1 million per is a very savvy move. If it was a sign of things to come for a player entering his 30's... well then there's a bit of risk here. pic.twitter.com/MDnsn7RQ8e— dom (@domluszczyszyn) July 15, 2022
Personally, when the Leafs were in on Mark Giordano last spring at the trade deadline, I was really hoping Järnkrok would be part of the package coming to Toronto. I like him as a strong shooting forward who can play a complementary role offensively and help a lot defensively. He seems like the perfect get for John Tavares, especially with his ability to play centre.
Now to you, what do you think is going to be the repercussion from this signing?
What do you WANT to happen?
What do you THINK will happen? (No, you don’t get any other options, please don’t make this about Jake Muzzin in the comments).