Maple Leafs buy mid-round pick, er, sign Brad Boyes to 1-year deal worth $700k

Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs have hosted a low key reality show over the past couple of weeks called: “So you want to be flipped for a pick at the trade deadline?” The show wasn’t that thrilling and the ratings weren’t great, but it would appear that the club’s search for a lucky depth forward to sign for the purpose of flipping at the deadline is over.

On Sunday the club elected not to give a rose to Devin Setoguchi and Curtis Glencross, both of whom were cut. The lucky recipient of a rose from Lou Lamoriello, then, is forward Brad Boyes, who, as first reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Maple Leafs have signed to a one-year deal. The deal is worth $700k, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.

Boyes, 33, is a credible middle-six forward who has produced even-strength goals and points at a credible second-line rate over the past three seasons. Of the eight players with whom he’s spent at least 500 even-strength minutes since the most recent NHL lockout, seven of those players have done better by Corsi For percentage with Boyes than they did without him. 

Training camp performance aside, essentially Boyes is a useful NHL player who, for whatever reason, is always overlooked in the free agent market. He’ll probably be a helpful piece for an overmatched Maple Leafs club, and if he performs well enough, could conceivably be part of a trade ahead of the NHL trade deadline that nets the Maple Leafs a much needed future asset.

We’ve discussed the Maple Leafs’ radical strategy of short selling veteran assets at the trade deadline a lot in recent weeks, and this deal would seem to be another step towards the execution of that program.

Though we tend to believe that the Maple Leafs are playing at a particular angle with this deal, that doesn’t diminish that Boyes deserves credit for his standout performance at training camp and in the preseason. It was very clear to anyone paying attention that Boyes was the best of the Maple Leafs’ class of PTO forwards, and he very much earned this contract.

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  • Jeremy Ian

    Good now we don’t have to trade for Zajac. Boyes had more goals and points last yr and his Corsi relative to Thursday is good, apparently, so good move. Besides Zajac’s salary would make it hard to sign Stamkos to 10.5 next yr.

  • BarelyComments

    With all the supposed competition going on for the defence spots at camp and people talking about Harrington possibly making it, why the heck hasn’t Fraser been cut yet?

    • Gary Empey

      I was kind of wondering if Babcock has asked Dion Phaneuf not to fight, but at the sametime they would like someone back there the can throw some.

      Or do they just feel they owe him something after letting him go after fracturing his skull

      He certainly doesn’t seem to fit their above average speed with good puck handling skills policy.

      • SEER

        Polak and Panik both play physical games and don’t need to fight to be a physical presence.

        Carrick, if he makes the team fights.

        Someone that is dedicated to fighting isn’t a good way to occupy roster spots, I want hockey players. Plus when you have Komarov, you can simply start trouble and then skate away, further angering the opponents, throwing off their game and drawing penalties which leaves our player on the ice and takes their’s off – much better than having our guy sit for 5.

        Babcock teams play hockey anyways, they don’t box for the fans.

        • Gary Empey

          Well that is what I thought as well. Though there does seem to be a few teams carrying goons.

          There does seem to be an awful lot of “deliberate attempt to injure” Refs never seem to ever call it though. Looks to me they just wait to see if someone requests the video for the health and safety department.

          I think it is a major 10 minute and game misconduct.

          I really wish they would start calling it as it appears stupid to have our best players in the game, out for long periods of time.

          The one I really dislike it that slash with the heal of the stick trying to injure or break a wrist. How Suban got away with it at least twice in last year’s playoffs is beyond me.

          How does hockey benefit by allowing it to continue. With the crackdown on head shots it is predicted to get worse.