In this edition of Toronto Maple Leafs News & Rumors, I’ll comment on the possibility of Alex Galchenyuk re-signing with the Maple Leafs. I’ll also discuss Frederick Andersen’s plight about whether to re-sign with the Maple Leafs or not.
Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Signing Andersen & Replacing Hyman?
Third, I’ll share one reader’s insight about a possible bottom-six addition to the team in veteran Andrew Cogliano. Finally, I’ll also look forward to the moves that Maple Leafs’ general manager Kyle Dubas is likely to make as he builds his 2021-22 regular season roster. The next week or so is going to be interesting.
Item One: The Maple Leafs Still Want Alex Galchenyuk
According to Mike Zeisberger of NHL.com, Dubas says that the team is interested in re-signing both Alex Galchenyuk and Frederik Andersen. Chances seem likely for Galchenyuk and not-so-likely for Andersen.
About the 27-year-old Galchenyuk, I can only guess that he’d want to find a long-term home on a team somewhere. And, given his status last season of being picked up – more or less – from the scrap heap by the Maple Leafs, I also have to believe he felt as if he successfully fit into the team’s roster and future plans. That would seem convincing to me if I were him.
What a trip for the third-overall draft choice of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. After a solid start with the Montreal Canadiens, things seemed to fall apart after the 2018-19 season. He’s suited up for five teams during the past three seasons; and, I can’t believe he doesn’t want to stay in one place for a while. However, Galchenyuk seemed to find new life after his mid-season acquisition from the Ottawa Senators.
Funny, although his skills were impressive and he seemed able to keep up with any line he played with, he really didn’t score that much in his time with the Maple Leafs. In fact, he didn’t every hit the point-every-two-games mark with 12 points in 26 games. That doesn’t bode well for finding a team to give him much of a high-value contract.
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Enter the Maple Leafs. Last season, he consistently lined-up with the team’s top-six forward group and didn’t seem out of place at all. He added value to the top two lines and seemed especially well-suited to playing with high-end talent. My guess is that the Maple Leafs believe he’ll be able to add depth scoring this next season at an affordable price.
Item Two: The Maple Leafs Also Are Interested in Frederik Andersen
Both the Maple Leafs and Frederik Andersen’s agent seem to be saying the right things about a potential re-signing, but I simply can’t see that happening. Certainly, the team is interested in keeping Andersen in goal but probably not at a price that would sit well with Andersen. As a result, given the fact that Andersen likely sees himself as an NHL starter, which he has every right to that opinion, taking a significant cut in both play and pay if he becomes Jack Campbell’s backup can’t be that appealing.
In addition, he’s likely be at full health and will be seen as a viable commodity as a starting goalie – somewhere. I’ve heard a Pittsburgh Penguins’ rumor, but nothing much else. That said, teams need good goalies; and, Andersen is just that.
Should Andersen be willing to return to the team for a single-season contract as he waits out COVID-19-suppressed salary-cap limits and has a chance to prove himself again, that would make life so much easier for the Maple Leafs. He’s known and appreciated by the team and the organization. (from “The Maple Leafs might owe Frederik Andersen, but paying the going rate seems unwise,” Dave Feschuk, Toronto Star, 14/07/21).
Related: NWHL Roundup: Lewicki Retires, Top Pick Girard Signs with Whale
Who knows? Next season could be turnaround time for Campbell and Andersen. Campbell has never started more than 31 games during any NHL season. Should Andersen be willing to re-sign in a backup role at a prove-himself deal, there are worse things than having an opportunity to show oneself as a crucial contributor to the team’s roster.
Item Three: A Reader’s Interesting Prediction about Andrew Cogliano
I have to thank BossSause for his interesting idea. Responding to the prediction article that Stan Smith and I collaborated on recently, BossSause offered his own “way out there” prediction. His call was for the Maple Leafs to sign Andrew Cogliano to a league-minimum salary.
Interesting. I know Cogliano’s play because I lived and worked in Edmonton when he was there with the Oilers. And I can see him fitting into the team’s ethos. He’s a hard-working bottom-six player who can score now and then. If he’s cheap enough, he probably still has some juice at 34 years of age.
What’s Next for the Maple Leafs?
There seems to be a lot of pessimism about Maple Leafs’ general manager Dubas’ ability to build a competitive team this season with Zach Hyman and Andersen probably leaving. I, for one, have always been amazed how deftly Dubas’ pulls rabbits out of hats as he overcomes what seem like almost insurmountable odds in his annual salary-cap limbo.
Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Time To Say Good-bye to Zach Hyman?
As THW reader ozzard notes, the Maple Leafs haven’t even begun to make any moves yet. “The same folks who said Dubas was supposedly incapable of icing a competitive team last offseason were proven wrong. And I have no doubt that Dubas and the Leafs will pull off some salary cap miracles again prior to next season!”
I couldn’t agree more. The next week should be interesting for Maple Leafs’ fans. I always love the surprises that pop up this time of the year.