Following up on the signings of Dominic Moore and Ron Hainsey, the Toronto Maple Leafs have added a bit of depth to their top-down structure this evening. The club announced three signings; the return of Colin Greening and the additions of Vincent Loverde and Chris Mueller.
The #Leafs announced today the signings of F Colin Greening to a 1-yr contract, and F Chris Mueller and D Vincent LoVerde to 2-yr contracts.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) July 1, 2017
These transactions scream AHL-friendly. With all due respect, I don’t see any of them making it to the opening night roster of the Leafs, but they can still contribute to the organization on the whole. Greening was tasked with moving from the wing to centre for the Marlies this year, and become one of the team’s most useful faceoff men and defensive forwards, while also chipping in 10 goals and 14 assists in 69 games. His most notable play was an overtime winner in Game 3 of Round 1 in this year’s Calder Cup playoffs:
Looking at the OT winner from last night. Another rocket of a shot by Colin Greening, but a nice breakout + assist from Justin Holl. pic.twitter.com/zxvDPUEo3H
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) April 27, 2017
I thought that Greening could be a fit for another NHL franchise, but if he made it to today before committing, I guess he wasn’t liking the calls he was getting. Either that or the 31-year-old St. John’s native is happy to remain in the organization he joined in 2016 as part of the Dion Phaneuf to Ottawa trade.
As for Mueller and Loverde, the two comfortably fit into major holes that the Marlies had last year. Mueller is a right-handed centre who scored 67 points in 68 games for the Tuscon Roadrunners last year and is typically good to float around the 0.8-1.0 point per game mark in the AHL. Loverde is a right-handed defenceman, who has been the captain of the Manchester Monarchs and Ontario Reign for the past three seasons. He’s not shy to land his name on the scoresheet either; the 28-year-old American put up 35 points in 61 games last year.
The Marlies’ biggest weaknesses in depth were at centre (hence Greening’s conversion) and right defence (Justin Holl and William Wrenn were the only two regulars shooting the correct hand on that side). While adding three players with this much experience will probably mean some interesting veteran rule shuffling once again this year, they should be very solid supplementary pieces to shelter their younger teammates in the coming season.