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Maple Leafs re-sign Frederik Gauthier; two RFAs remain unsigned

Freddy the Goat chomps down on a two-year contract.

Frederik Gauthier dives to save a goal against the Utica comets
Credit: Christian Bonin

Freddy the Goat is back!

Frederik Gauthier has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Marlies. The contract is a two-way deal, but the AHL salary on the deal was not reported. The AAV is $675,000. His qualifying offer came in at $832,500 for a one-year deal, so it looks like he took less salary for more term.

The deal is likely the minimum NHL salary for each year of $650,000 and $700,000.


With this contract structure, we see a setup where the Leafs will be paying Gauthier in excess of his AHL salary no matter how many NHL games he plays. This is usually done to give the team the incentive to pick him as their call-up when they need someone. Or, to give the player the impression that will happen.

By taking the lowest possible AAV, he also makes himself more attractive to callup if the team is near the cap. However, while that’s a sweet deal for a team like the Leafs, teams that care about cash expenditures aren’t going to be so interested in getting this deal in a trade. The Leafs aren’t rolling in AHL centres, so it’s unlikely they’d want to move him right now, anyway.

Gauthier is no longer waiver exempt, which means the NHL’s other 30 teams will have a chance to poach him from the Leafs if they choose to assign him to the Marlies during the pre-season. There’s a low chance any of this plays out as Gauthier is just a AHL third-liner at this point. If a team sees something in camp out of the Goat, I think the Leafs would be happy to see him get a chance to move forward in his career somewhere.

Okay, Leafs PR. Sign William Nylander and Andreas Johnsson already so I can enjoy my August.

The 23-year-old Gauthier has been a key defensive contributor for the Marlies the past few years. His third-line centre role with wingers Colin Greening and Pierre Engvall took all of the tough forward assignments, heavy penalty kill minutes, and still found a way to create offensive-zone time out of defensive-zone starts that the other three lines could take advantage of. He scored seven goals and 11 assist in 57 regular season games.

And let’s not forget his late double-overtime winner in game two of the Marlies’ second-round series against the Syracuse Crunch.

The Goat might not be an NHLer, he may not have lived up to his “first-round pedigree”, but he is a key piece for the Marlies that allows head coach Sheldon Keefe to protect some of his younger players from overwhelming competition. That carries value, especially for an AHL team that can afford to pay whatever they want in terms of salaries on their squad, and doesn’t have great depth at centre.

Lastly, he’s a great teammate, a really funny and honest guy who sometimes has some really great moments on the ice!


Thoughts on re-signing the Goat?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    League minimum; I don’t care.
    (646 votes)
  • 6%
    He’s taking a roster spot that he shouldn’t.
    (69 votes)
  • 24%
    NHL 4C next year!
    (268 votes)
  • 10%
    (117 votes)
1100 votes total Vote Now