Does Devin Setoguchi make sense for the Leafs?

A little bit of news to pass along tonight, as Glen Campbell, CTV Sports Anchor in Calgary, reports that the Leafs may be closing in on a deal with Devin Setoguchi.

First off, it’s great to hear that Setoguchi is looking for another chance at an NHL career after getting help with any troubles he’s been having to this point. He’s always been a talented player, and at 28-years-old, likely has some good hockey left in him.

From a Leafs standpoint, it’s difficult to see how Setoguchi might fit into their NHL roster. The team is jammed with bottom-six forwards and there’s very little space left open for anyone off-the-board to make much of a splash at camp. I don’t think they can make that vise any tighter. Even at the Marlies level the organization has gone on record to say they’re pushing their minor league affiliates to be a place to tune up prospects, and sending in Setoguchi to take some time away from their younger players seems unlikely.

Perhaps the most likely scenario here is the Leafs are working on moving out more players from the current roster in order to free up something for Setoguchi. We’ve talked at length about their need to get rid of Bozak, Lupul, and beyond that maybe some bodies off the blue-line like Robidas and Polak. Maybe one of those first two are close to being shipped off.

As for Setoguchi’s performance over the last couple seasons, it’s tough to piece together. In the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season he managed 27 points in 48 games for the Wild, a solid total, but from there took a tumble and had the same total in 75 games for the Jets the following year. Most recently he suited up for the Flames in twelve games this past season, registering zero points, and appeared in 19 games for their affiliate in Adirondack. It’s been a rough couple years. 

If he can get back to some of the playing level he was at earlier in his career, however, Setoguchi can provide some nice scoring, and the Leafs, as they currently look, are desperately lacking in that regard. He put up 32, 20, 22, and 19 goal seasons in the years leading up to the lockout with the Sharks and Wild.

Dashboard 1

No surprises here, as Setoguchi’s HERO chart (from OwnThePuck) shows from 2010-12 he scored goals at a high rate, at least enough to warrant his top-six ice time. In that time he also clipped along as a middle-of-the-pack possession player. If he can get back to these sort of levels, he’d obviously be a smart addition. The guy can put the puck in the net, that much is clear.

I’d assume, if brought aboard, Setoguchi would be on a “show me” one-year deal for near the league minimum. 

  • Gary Empey

    The Leafs may be jammed with bottom six forwards but Setoguchi was a top six right winger. His best years were with Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau on San Jose’s first line.

    If there is any truth to this story then as you suspect there may be something else afoot.

  • Harte of a Lion

    I said last week that a deal or two will happen before September and no one will have an inkling. Leafs rumours from the front office are nonexistent.
    Wait for it..,,. Nashville and JVR or Lupul?

      • Gary Empey

        At the Leaf website these are the right wingers listed: -Mark Arcobello =Richard Panik -Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau

        There are 8 centres listed and three left wingers

        • Gary Empey

          If someone is getting shipped out, I’m going to put my money on one of those 8 centers.

          But out of all the players we might be turning into picks this year, I think Setoguchi would be the riskiest. It’s been a while since he’s played good hockey.

          • Gary Empey

            He is a free agent. Babcock likes to have a playmaker, shooter, and two-way forward on every line. I suppose he would be a shooter. If Leafs do sign him he is going to have to work his ass off to make the team. There are a lot of hungry prospects who want to play at the ACC.

      • Harte of a Lion

        How about JVR and Gardiner for one of the following, Gormley, Samuelson or Dvorak and Arizona’s 2016 1st??? Arizona is going to surprise a few people this year. I know everyone will say they will never trade their youngsters but you have to give up something to get something.

        The new ownership needs the team to be competitive NOW or their time in Arizona is nearing the end. (There is no chance the team is going to move to Vegas as Bettman will never give away the half billion dollar franchise fee) but with no revenue, how long can the team stay?

        They have proven that when they are competitive they can attract fans
        (15-16000+ rather than 11-13,000) and I think adding those two quality players could make them a playoff bubble team depending on luck and $hit. LOL
        They are getting a great 26 year old left winger who can score 30 playing with Strome and a 25 year old DMan to play and skate with Ekman-Larsson.
        Both players earn around 4M on long term cap friendly deals and the Coyotes will not miss whatever young prospect they trade as their prospect pool is deep.

        The Leafs add one of the following… Dvorak on the left side who has amazing chemistry with Marner/ Samuelson who is a big Swedish Centre a la Sundin with great 1st line potential/ Gormley who I believe has a higher upside than Gardiner.
        Add a 1st rounder that could be anywhere from the 1st to 16th pick and it’s a great deal for the Leafs

        With Hunters skill in the draft, having 2 possible lottery picks for Mathews and 3 first round picks next year makes it a win win for both teams.

        For those who think the Leafs are giving up too much, you can ask for another prospect or another draft pick from the deep Coyotes prospect pool but I think Dvorak is a wash for JVR but 7 years younger, Samuelson is a potential BIG 1st line centre and Gormley has potential to play with Rielly as a top pairing dmen eventually.

        That opens roster spots for players like Setoguchi and possible waiver pickups like Panik.

        OKAY kids, time to trash the Lion!

        • Gary Empey

          Re- How about JVR and Gardiner for one of the following, Gormley, Samuelson or Dvorak and Arizona’s 2016 1st???

          This trade certainly fits in with the Leafs rebuild strategy of loading up with top prospects and draft picks.

          Similar to the Kessel trade except this time you are sending off two popular players to the desert. I like it.

          There would be limited trade clauses to be considered and lottery protected first round picks.

          • Harte of a Lion

            Gary, JVR’s no trade doesn’t kick in until next year and Gardiner doesn’t have a no movement clause. It’s a go fer the gold opportunity.
            Perhaps at that point with most if not all his bromances traded, Bozak will waive his no movement to get the hell out of Dodge.

        • Harte of a Lion

          I have a problem with your proposed trade by Lion.

          I think most people value established currency. Gardiner and JVR are high value currency, more so JVR in this case.

          Lucic alone fetched a 1st, LA’s best NHL ready prospect, and Jones who was flipped for another 1st.

          Talbot who a 27 year old career back-up so far on one of the best defensive teams fetched a 2nd and 3rd. As did Kyle Palmieri.

          You can reference the Kane, O’Rielly, Hamilton, Coburn, Connolly, Vermette.

          The point I’m getting at is the trade doesn’t yield maximum value for our currency. I think alone JVR could net at least a lottery protected 1st and a prospect like Duclair or Samuelsson or Gormley.

          Gardiner should fetch a 1st on his own within the bottom 15 of the first round, something similar to Connolly (two 2nds) or swap for a forward roughly in the same development cycle such as Boedker (sticking with ARI), Skinner or Rask from CAR, Jenner from CBJ – just a few names from teams that need defense.

        • Gary Empey

          I heard what tipped the scales was the fact you insisted on being an Optomistic Leaf Fan, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

          I suppose the judge being from Dollard-des-Ormeaux didn’t help.

          Looking on the bright side I understand your new home has that gigantic TV screen and ready access to Thorazine for watching Leaf games.

          • Harte of a Lion

            Gary what evidence to the contrary? I’ve been a Die-hard Leaf fan for 53 years…

            Thorazine?’ Nope! I have the 70″ flat screen to watch my beloved Leafs but I smuggled my morphine drip outta the hospital after a surgery.
            No matter the score, I close my eyes, click the button 3 times, While repeating There is no team like Leafs, There is no team like Leafs…and All is Good!

            I awaken and I’m back in Kansas… Anyone know what happened to my hockey team?
            I had a dream about Scouts in the Rocky Mountains which then transform into lil Devils run by a guy acting like Brando in the Godfather…

            Can you do me a favour and loosen the straps on this white jacket? It’s ferKin hard to type.

            I root for only two teams, The Leafs and whoever beats the Habs.
            Go Leafs!

  • SEER

    Not quite sure that we need anymore outside talent added for this season…? Leafs are sitting with 8 Centers and a whack of wingers on the roster, right now.. and that’s not including some Marlie Prospects who could break through in camp…

    Unless we are trading for an elite player, I am quite happy where we sit right now.. Over-spending for the sake of experimentation can always hurt you, if & when an elite player becomes available by trade deadline day.. and you end up with not enough Cap Space to acquire him..

    I’ve noticed him in the AHL the last season.., but his numbers have never seemed to be as great, as when he was with the Sharks… Could be due to abuse, but I will leave that decision to our management.. (feels good saying this and believing it, for the first time in many seasons..)

      • SEER

        Yes .. I realize it wouldn’t be a huge sum for one season, but if we were a mil. short in Cap space from being able to grab an elite player, it would seem like a lot.. That’s my point…

        • silentbob

          If another team is willing to give away one of their best players, and they like what the Leafs are giving up enough to make that deal, 1 million dollars in cap space won’t kill the trade, they’ll find a way around it.