Maple Leafs Lock up RFA’s, Continue to Search for Backup

The Toronto Maple Leafs have done some excellent work this summer. It started by drafting Auston Matthews, the big American pivot. He was subsequently signed to his three-year entry level with the maximum benefits package in tow.

It was then time for the Maple Leafs restricted free agents to be dealt with. The Leafs had to make some calls on who to extend a qualifying offer towards. It came down to Garret Sparks, Peter Holland, Frank Corrado, Josh Leivo, Martin Marincin and Connor Carrick.

Let the Signings Begin

Sparks was an easy choice to extend, and the Leafs got him to come to terms on a one-year, two-way contract. The contract is worth $575 thousand at the NHL level and $100 thousand at the AHL level. Sparks is most likely AHL-bound to start the season, but it never hurts to have the option of calling him up.

Carrick got a two-year deal after impressing in stints with both the Maple Leafs and Marlies last season. He scored 4 points for the Maple Leafs after being acquired from the Capitals before lighting up the AHL playoffs. He led all skaters with 18 points during the 2016 Calder Cup playoffs.

Peter Holland joined the signing party by inking his own contract, a one-year deal that should see him make $1.3 million this coming season. Josh Leivo got a two-year deal to stay with the Blue and White. The speedy forward was a marvel in the AHL and was chosen to play in the AHL All-Star Game. He registered 48 points in 51 regular season games this past year.

The  Maple Leafs recently settled with another RFA before heading to arbitration. The signing was 23-year-old defenceman Frank Corrado. He received a one-year, one-way contract worth $600 thousand.

Martin Marincin was the last player to sign his contract. The Maple Leafs got the speedy defensive defenseman for the next two years. The average annual value of the contract is $1.25 million, which comes out to $1.2 million in 2016-17 and $1.3 million in 2017-18.

Not all of these players will make the Leafs full-time next year. But Lou Lamoriello and company like to have options, which is what many of these contracts are. Many of these skaters will return to the powerhouse Marlies. Others may be used as trade bait.

Veteran Backup Wanted

The Maple Leafs are still on the hunt for one more player this summer. They are looking for a proven, veteran backup goaltender to provide some relief to new Leaf Frederik Andersen. This goalie will also ideally provide some leadership and wisdom to a very young Maple Leafs team.

Jhonas Enroth is one candidate that has been tossed around. It was reported that the Maple Leafs were nearing a deal with the Swede, but so far nothing has been confirmed. Another name the Buds could look at would be Anders Lindback, a veteran who has played for the Predators, Lightning, Stars, Sabres and Coyotes.

With August nearly upon us, you can bet the Maple Leafs will continue their search. It is the last piece of the puzzle for the summer, and it is imperative the Leafs find the right man as they head into their centennial season.