After trading him away before the Trade Deadline, the Toronto Maple Leafs have brought back Daniel Winnik. They have signed him to a two-year deal worth $4.5 million.
Daniel Winnik's two-year deal in Toronto carries a $2.25M AAV. Nice raise for him.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 1, 2015
Winnik signed with the Leafs last off-season and became of the Leafs best players. He scored seven goals and amassed 25 points in 58 games last season with Toronto. Of course, that led to him being a sought-after piece at the deadline and he was eventually dealt to the Pittsburgh Penguins, with the Leafs getting Zach Sill and a 2016 second-round pick (sent back to Pittsburgh in the Phil Kessel trade) back from the Penguins. Even though he was in Toronto long, Winnik became a fan-favorite because of the way he played.
He must have like the experience as well now that he has come back. Unlike some of the Leafs other short-term deals signed today, don’t expect to be trade bait, at least not next season. The Leafs will have more than a few young players in their lineup next season and Winnik can be a valuable mentor to those players. Now, the Leafs could very well trade him in the 2016-17 season at the deadline. However, its the mentoring factor that the Leaf will be valuing over the next two seasons. It was at least part of the reason that the Leafs kept Roman Polak at the deadline this past season.
This is the fifth signing the Maple Leafs have made today. After saying they weren’t going to make many headlines on July 1, it seems that wasn’t exactly the case.
Follow all of Wednesday’s free agent signings with The Hockey Writers’ Free Agent Tracker.
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Toronto Maple Leafs Writer At The Hockey Writers.