Leafs sign Martin Marincin to 2-year deal ahead of arbitration

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Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY SPORTS

It’s officially confirmed – literally nobody wants to sit in an arbitration room with Lou Lamoriello. Martin Marincin, the last remaining restricted free agent for the Leafs to sign this offseason has agreed to a two-year deal with the team.

From the official press release:

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has signed defenceman Martin Marincin to a two-year contract. The average annual value of the contract is $1.25 million ($1.2M in 2016-17, $1.3M in 2017-18).

Marincin, 24, scored one goal, collected six assists and registered 34 penalty minutes in 65 games with the Maple Leafs last season after being acquired in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers on June 27, 2015 In 150 career NHL games, the Kosice, Slovakia native has recorded 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) and 66 penalty minutes.

First off, kudos to the team for actually releasing contract terms, a rarity for both themselves and teams across the league. It would be nice to see that more often, given that the salary cap ties financial details directly to team on-ice performance and that all of these deals leak out within hours or minutes anyway.

As for the circumstances, the team avoided arbitration by four days, well exceeding the morning of deal with Peter Holland and the day before deal with Frank Corrado. The two sides hadn’t even gotten to the stage where their offer and asks were made public yet, which makes you wonder if they were very far off to begin with.

As Drag Like Pull mentioned today, one of the reasons for a two-year deal specifically may be to make him eligible for the expansion draft next summer. Beyond that, though, it’s very good value for a player who aggravates the casual viewer with his play style, but impresses in his shot suppression performance and appears to make his teammates better from a possession standpoint.

With the contract signed, the Leafs are speculated to have a five digit figure remaining in cap space. As we mentioned here earlier this week, there are still a lot of cap-related hurdles for the team over the next few months.

  • Mitch92

    So from the players who got more than a cup of coffee in the NHL last year, plus Matthews and Zaitsev, this leaves the roster at:

    Matthews, Bozak, Kadri, Nylander, Komarov, Lupul, Michalek, Holland, Greening, Laich, Martin, Jvr

    Rielly, Gardiner, Marincin, Polak, Cowen, Zaitsev, Corrado, Hunwick

    Andersen, Sparks/mystery backup

    That’s a 23-man roster already, and doesn’t yet include Marner, Sosh, Hyman, or any defenseman from the system (which admittedly there are not many studs)

    Time to dump some vets up front, particularly if Cowen cannot be bought out.

    • Stan Smith

      I would think Holland would be the extra forward, unless he starts the season with the Marlies, seeing as he has already cleared waivers. That leaves room for Marner, who, unless he has a terrible camp, I find it hard to believe would not make the team.

      As for the defence I can’t see them carrying 2 extra dmen, even though stranger things have happened. I think Corrado would be the odd man out here.

    • BarelyComments

      If I recall correctly, Cowen’s buyout is still awaiting an arbitrator decision.

      If it is ruled that he was too injured to be bought out, he will likely spend the entire year on Robidas Island – which is a shame, since those LTIR boosts can come back to hinder us next year. Not a huge deal given how much is coming off the books, but still a shame.

  • MigBoron

    Very important signing to keep in mind with upcoming expansion draft rules regarding contract years & games played etc. Decent defenseman , but i’m guessing 3 D will be Rielly, Gardiner & Carrick..

  • CMpuck

    I can’t believe the leafs settled. Marincin’s entire case consisted of half a dozen Burtch tweets. The leafs had hours footage of Marincin wandering around the ice without a stick.

  • CMpuck

    Anyone who actually watched all or most of the Leafs 82 games must have been impressed with Martin Marincin.

    He’s big, he has soft hands, he makes pinpoint passes and he has a decent point shot. And YES, he suppresses opposition shots and opportunities.

    Also, he just 24. Younger than Gardiner who will bank more than $4M this coming seasons. This is a steal.

    Go on you Lou.

    • Stan Smith

      Actually I very rarely get to see the Leafs on TV live, because of the hours I work. What I do is record the games and watch them afterwards. In doing so when there is any kind of scoring chance, I go back to the last line change and replay it, a lot of times more than once, to see who was where on the ice, doing what, leading up to the chance. I will also spend shifts just watching a certain player to see what he does without the puck, and away from the play.

      In doing so I can tell you that both Polak and Hunwick are much better players than the analytics crowd will have you believe, and Marincin is not as good as the numbers show.

      One thing I have noticed is that players that have better analytics are a lot of times offensive players that play a high risk game. They are great with the puck but not so good without it. They are also not very good at retrieving the puck from opposing players. That is where your Komarovs, Martins, Polaks and Hunwicks come in handy.

      The numbers also don’t show the situations coaches put their players in. Take Morgan Rielly for example. For most of last season Babcock had Rielly paired with Hunwick, so that Hunwick could show him how to play in his own end, and in defensive situations. Babcock had them out there consistently against top competition, killing penalties, and late in the game in faceoffs in their own end. Babcock, rightfully so, had Rielly learning the more defensive side of the game and not jumping into the play as much. In most situations I watched, when they were paired together they didn’t create a lot of offence, but didn’t give up a lot of good scoring chances either. In most cases when they did give up chances it was because Rielly was out of position.

      After the deadline, with Hunwick hurt, Babcock paired Marincin up with Rielly. But, he also took the “shackles” off of Rielly, and had him playing more of an offensive game. Babcock also didn’t use them as the top pair as much, giving them easier competition. With Rielly playing more wide open and Marincin being the guy to cover defensively, Rielly created more scoring chances, but also left Marincin caught out more, situations Marincin didn’t handle very well at times. I do not have numbers, but I am sure from repeatedly watching video, they created more scoring chances, but gave up more scoring chances as well.

      That is just one situation where the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Analytics are but one tool to help a team, but only one.

      In regards to Marincin, as I have stated earlier, to me, at best he ranks 5th behind Rielly, Gardiner, Hunwick & Polak. I have not seen Zaitsev play, but from what I have read I would think if he doesn’t surpass Marincin on the depth chart, he soon will. From what I have seen with Carrick, is that Carrick is better offensively, plays better positionally in his own end, and is better in the corners getting the puck. If that is the case, that would push Marincin back to 7th.

      But, I am not Babcock. I will not be the one putting the lineups on the ice. I am just expressing my opinion, and how I arrived at it. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

      • Kanuunankuula

        Komarov actually is a solid in analytics. Everyone else, not so much. Your observations do not add up with numbers, I’d be looking at what your missing. I’ve seen as much as I can of the games as I can in Europe, and Polak is atrocious, seen on Sharks more than the leafs. Always too slow. He is strong, but that’s not good enough in todays NHL