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.
Taking advantage of a 2nd chance. Devon Setoguchi says he’s gone to rehab, been clean and sober for 5 months, close to signing with #leafs
— Glenn Campbell (@CTVGCampbell) August 11, 2015
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.
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.