Benoit Pouliot, an attractive option for Toronto, will be a UFA on July 5

Cam Charron
July 01 2013 10:13AM

Here's a bit of a shocker. The Tampa Bay Lightning have told Benoit Pouliot that they won't qualify him, meaning that Pouliot will head to unrestricted free agency on July 5.

This is a player that the Toronto Maple Leafs should immediately begin negotiating with and sign to a cheap depth contract for a couple of years. Perhaps seen as a bit of a redemption contract. After being drafted fourth overall in 2005, Pouliot has not lived up to expectations, bouncing around between four different organizations, and potentially going to sign with his fifth this summer.

He has never scored 20 goals. He has never scored 35 points. He has never played 1000 minutes in a season, and he is probably going to be a very undervalued second- or third-line winger. At this point, a team would be wise to forget about the fact that Pouliot never lived up to the hype as a fourth overall pick in the Sidney Crosby draft and focus on what it is Pouliot has done over the last four seasons or so.

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Leafs Take Fabrice Herzog in 5th Round

Justin Fisher
July 01 2013 10:07AM

(Photo: Liechtenstein Vaterland)

With their fifth round pick, 142nd overall, the Toronto Maple Leafs selected Swiss winger Frabcrie Herzog, the 59th ranked European skater according to NHL Central Scouting

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Leafs Select Verhaeghe in 3rd Round

Justin Fisher
June 30 2013 08:17PM

(Photo: www.niagaraicedogs.net)
(Photo: www.niagaraicedogs.net) 

With their third round pick, 82nd overall, the Toronto Maple Leafs selected Niagara Ice Dogs centre Carter Verhaeghe.

Known for his two-way play and penalty killing abilities, Verhaeghe scored 18 goals and 26 assists in 67 games this season, and won a gold medal with Canada's U18 World Championship squad (where he played with Toronto's first rounder Frederik Gauthier).

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David Bolland provides Leafs an immediate upgrade over Tyler Bozak

Cam Charron
June 30 2013 07:24PM

On Draft Day the Toronto Maple Leafs didn't make a big splash like last season when they flipped Luke Schenn to the Philadelphia Flyers for James van Riemsdyk, but they did make a move that will impact the team next season by acquiring David Bolland for three picks.

Like I've mentioned, this is a low risk, medium reward type deal for the Maple Leafs. While Bolland's contract is expensive, he's only under contract for one more season and if things don't work out, things don't work out. That said, he provides an immediate offensive and defensive upgrade over Tyler Bozak, and the Leafs will go into next season with an upgraded Top Six.

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Leafs Play it Safe with Gauthier Pick

Justin Fisher
June 30 2013 06:47PM

With the 21st overall pick, the Toronto Maple Leafs selected the Rimouski Oceanic's Frederik Gauthier, a hulking centre with high-end defensive skills.

To be honest, it's a little underwhelming.

One can't be too upset with the Gauthier selection. It's not often a team has the opportunity to add a 6'5, 214lb shutdown centre to their stable. If anything, criticism of the pick is rooted in the notion that the Leafs played it too safe. Gauthier appeared in 62 games this past season, scoring 22 goals and 38 assists for 60 points. Not a bad stat line, but not indicative of a future point-producing juggernaut.

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