Good morning Toronto Maple Leafs fans!
It’s day three of the 2022 NHL free agency period and we’ve seen lots of big deals and big names get signed, but there are still some you wouldn’t expect to be available. Most of these players are out of the Leafs price range, according to Cap Friendly they have $2M left, so we shouldn’t get out hopes up about them becoming Leafs.
Phil Kessel - RW - Arizona Coyotes
2021-22 Stats: 82 GP - 8G - 44A - 52Pts
Awards: Stanley Cup 2x, Masterton 1x, Olympic Silver Medal
The divisive former Maple Leaf has reached free agency for the first time in his career, with the eight year contract extension he signed in Toronto coming to an end. The Arizona market seemed to be just the fit for him - poker, golf, anonymity, everything he wants - but it’s lacking competitiveness and an arena made for an NHL team. There isn’t much left for the 34 year old to get done in the NHL, but there’s been no discussion of retirement.
Patrice Bergeron - C - Boston Bruins
2021-22 Stats: 73GP - 25G - 40A - 65Pts
Awards: Stanley Cup, Olympic Gold 2x, Selke Trophy 5x, Spengler Cup, Mark Messier Leadership Award for Being an Outstanding Leader Like Mark Messier as Chosen by Mark Messier Presented By Lays Bet You Can’t Eat Just One
It’s Bruins or bust for Bergeron, but if there’s nothing left for Kessel to accomplish in the NHL, what hasn’t Patrice Bergeron done in hockey? This first ballot hall of famer could pack it up and call it a career, be one of those stars who has a weird final season in another city, or keep playing and try and get some Bruins records for games played or points.
Nazem Kadri - C - Colorado Avalanche
2021-22 Stats: 71GP - 28G - 59A - 87Pts
Awards: Stanley Cup, once threw a broken stick at my wife
The 2022 Stanley Cup winner has been talked about as a free agent since the trade deadline, but remains unsigned now. We all expected a big splash, or to re-sign with the Avalanche but nothing yet. Is he waiting on a team to make a trade to clear cap space, or is he pulling a Taylor Hall; overplaying his hand, missing a big contract, and signing a one year show me deal with the Sabres?
Joe Thornton - C - Florida Panthers
2021-22 Stats: 34GP - 5G - 5A - 10Pts
Awards: Hart Trophy, Spengler Cup, Olympic Gold Medal
This has to be it for Jumbo Joe right? Barely playing on the Panthers last season, he would have to sign to be a 13th forward on a competitor, accepting that he’s only there to be brought along to the Stanley Cup he’s never won.
PK Subban - D - New Jersey Devils
2021-22 Stats: 77GP - 5G - 17A - 22Pts
Awards: Norris Trophy, Olympic Gold, King Clancy Award
The man who worked himself too hard. After hitting the highest point of a Stanley Cup Final loss, his workout routines have been called factors into his decline as a player. He’s no longer the Norris threat he was, but he’s still a presence on any team who would sign him, and maybe he’s fielding phone calls from fellow Torontonians Mark Giordano, Jason Spezza, and Wayne Simmonds to come home for cheap and help get it done.
Zdeno Chara - D - New York Islanders
2021-22 Stats: 72GP - 2G - 12A - 14Pts
Awards: Stanley Cup, Norris Trophy, Mark Messier Leadership Award for Being an Outstanding Leader Like Mark Messier as Chosen by Mark Messier Presented By Lays Bet You Can’t Eat Just One
Returning to the Islanders, the team that drafted him in 1996, I assumed this was it, like a salmon swimming upstream to lay their eggs and die where they were born. Will he return to Ottawa next? No. He won’t.
These are the biggest names still available in free agency, when and where will they sign?
Now, some news.
The Leafs were busy yesterday making some depth signings.
Development Camp roster is here:
One of the names Leafs fans were craving went to Washington instead
The pushing out of Toews and Kane may be working in Chicago.
It’s Friday, enjoy that if you celebrate it, I’m on vacation as. of. this. period.