Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Dahlstrom, Amadio & New Team Leadership

In this edition of Toronto Maple Leafs News & Rumors, I’ll share news about three new signings for the team. Second, I analyze some of the similarities and differences between the signings this offseason as compared to last offseason and offer my analysis of what this might mean for the Maple Leafs’ organization going forward. 

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Item One: Maple Leafs Sign Brett Seney 

Last week, the Maple Leafs signed Brett Seney to a two-way contract. Seney doesn’t have much of a recent NHL history, having played only two NHL games during the past two seasons. He’s expected to suit up for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies next season and, depending upon how that goes, perhaps become an emergency call-up for the Maple Leafs.

The 25-year-old London, Ontario, native did have a single NHL season with the New Jersey Devils where he played in 51 games, but he’s been kicking around the AHL with Birmingham for the past few seasons. He’s totalled five goals and eight assists (for 13 points) in 53 total NHL games.

Item Two: Carl Dahlstrom Signs with the Maple Leafs

Last week, the Maple Leafs signed 25-year-old Swedish left-shot defenseman Carl Dahlstrom to a one-year, two-way contract. Should Dahlstrom play in the NHL, he’ll make $750,000. Last season, he played with the AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights (the Vegas Golden Knights’ AHL affiliate). In October, 2020, he was traded from Winnipeg Jets with a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2022 draft to Vegas to the Golden Knights for Paul Stastny.

Last season, in addition to playing in the AHL, Dahlstrom spent the season on the Golden Knights’ taxi squad and hasn’t yet consistently broken into an NHL lineup. He didn’t see any playing time with Vegas last year. However, he did play 15 NHL games with the Jets in 2019-20 and spent two seasons (playing 49 games) with the Chicago Blackhawks. Dahlstrom has collected 10 assists in 64 career NHL games and has scored 58 points (11 goals, 47 assists) in 179 regular season AHL contests.

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Dahlstrom was originally selected by Chicago in the second round (51st overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft. He’s an interesting signing because he’s shown some scoring potential (putting up 10 points in 17 AHL games last season). He might be able to compete for a bottom-pairing spot with the Maple Leafs but he’s probably more likely to spend time with the Marlies. 

Item Three: Michael Amadio Signs with the Maple Leafs

Last week, NHL veteran Michael Amadio signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Maple Leafs that’s worth $750,000 at the NHL and is guaranteed to be paid $400,000 even if he plays with the Marlies. The 25-year-old Amadio became an unrestricted free agent (UFA) when he wasn’t qualified by the Ottawa Senators. 

Last season, between the Los Angeles Kings and the Senators, he scored three assists. In total, Amadio’s NHL experience shows five seasons and 173 games. During those games, the depth center has scored 16 goals and 24 assists (for 40 points). He looks to be another Marlies’ player who also offers emergency call-up possibilities for the Maple Leafs’ roster. 

What’s Next for the Maple Leafs?

What’s so interesting about the signings I’ve noted here and in other recent signings that Maple Leafs’ general manager has made during this offseason is that they seem to follow a pattern. That pattern differs from last season’s signings.

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What we see this season is that most of the signings – organizational depth players and possible regular roster players – have been of 25-year-olds (or close) who are just entering their best seasons. Last season, the Maple Leafs’ organization seemed to target veteran leadership with its signings – inking Joe Thornton and Wayne Simmonds to contracts. Simmonds remains. Thornton has not been re-signed.

Toronto Maple Leafs Mitch Marner Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews
Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Mitchell Marner and Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

Not forgetting Maple Leafs’ captain John Tavares, what I think this means for the team is that the organization is putting the team’s leadership squarely upon the shoulders of the team’s young core of Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. In short, the organization is asking and expecting Matthews and Marner to step up to now lead the team to the next step of its growth – wherever that takes them.

This change seems to be one more step in the maturation of the team’s core. We’ll see as Maple Leafs’ fans how this works out during the upcoming season.

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