Good morning Toronto Maple Leafs fans!
Today is Boxing Day, a day whose origins began when King Bargain Harold would come down from his castle and stand on the Bi-Way tossing farthings at the crowds who would gather, and corn would cost half price. What a days those were!
Nowadays we celebrate the generosity of King Harold by shopping for deals on electronics and last seasons fashions.
The Maple Leafs were also some bargain hunters in free agency, so in lieu of news we’ll take a quick look at some of the cheaper Leafs and how they’ve turned out. It may be short because I have some online shopping to do.
The Veterans: Wayne Simmonds & Jason Spezza
Cap hits: $900k & &750k
Points: 10 (4G, 6A) & 11 (7G, 4A)
While neither of these players are lighting up the score sheet they are providing some real value on and off the ice. At under a million dollars these guys are providing a point in every third game on the fourth line, which is good for fourth liners.
Wayne Simmonds is a hometown boy, and wants to win with the Maple Leafs. When the Leafs got into an early season funk, word on the street is he “motivated” the team (yelled loudly) and things turned around.
Jason Spezza said he would rather retire then play anywhere else. He signed for the league minimum, with no bonuses. He saw Rasmus Sandin get hurt, no call on the play, and went to teach the young punk who did it - sorry, young piunk - a lesson. He’s a real leader for this team, someone who is here to finish his career, and wants to do it with a parade down Yonge St.
Both of these players are great teachers for this team, players who have done almost everything aside from win a Stanley Cup, and dang it they’re going to do it.
The Comeback Kid: Ondřej Kaše
Cap Hit: $1.25M
Points: 15 (8G, 7A)
Just above the vets in scoring, Ondřej Kaše is here to recover from the last two seasons where he played a combined nine games. This year he’s tripled that total of games played and is nearly matching his best season in scoring. In 2017-18 he scored 38 points in 66 games for 0.58PPG, and now he has 15 points in 27 games, or 0.56PPG. Plus he’s teamed up with his best buddy David Kämpf and they are both enjoying being back together.
The Hometown Rookie: Michael Bunting
Cap Hit: $950k
Points: 19 (7G, 12A)
When Butning signed, everyone was excited for him. Me? I was wondering who he was. Well, now I know. Someone who is still considered a rookie eligible for the Calder trophy, and thrilled to be a Maple Leafs, he’s been paired with Auston Matthews and has relished in the opportunity. He’s already passed his career totals in games (30) and points (19) this year than he had in two years with the Arizona Coyotes.
With these four players, the Maple Leafs have really gotten some of the best bargains in the league, and some lesser known players and veterans are enjoying their most popular seasons of their careers.
Hopefully Dubas can continue this kind of shopping and bargain hunting this trade deadline and off-season.
Enjoy your day folks, and I hope you find a good deal.