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Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski / USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs sign Patrick Marleau to 3-year contract

The Toronto Maple Leafs blew all of their signings from yesterday out of the water, signing Patrick Marleau to a 3-year contract worth $18.75 million.

Listen, you don’t need us to tell you who Patrick Marleau is; he’s certifiably a legend around these parts and just about any part of the league. Drafted second overall by the San Jose Sharks in the 1997 Entry Draft, Marleau made the team straight out of camp and never looked back.

In his 19-year career, the native of Swift Current, Saskatchewan has scored 508 goals and 574 assists, for a total of 1082 points in 1493 games. He’s also contributed 120 points in 177 playoff games, 68 of which are goals.

Marleau’s best offensive years appear to be behind him, but that hasn’t stopped him from contributing; the 37-year-old potted 27 goals and 19 assists last year, and if you pro-rate the lockout-shortened 2012/13 season, has scored at a 25-per-year rate in the 13 of the past 16 years.

The contract is a bit on the steep side; $6.25 million a year was more than most expected, and a 3-year deal at 37 is hefty. But it’s still a relatively short term deal, and he’s another top-end forward added to a top-end core. Either he makes them the deepest offence in hockey, or he allows them to move a piece to address another need. Either way, it’s hard to see this as anything but a win.

  • FlareKnight

    We are reaching some crazy times here!

    This is pretty cool though. Adding Marleau just makes the Leafs forward group even more terrifying. Though likely this leads to the Leafs being more confident moving someone (likely JVR) for a D-man.

    Regardless, this is interesting. 2 years would have been ideal, but I get that Marleau probably doesn’t leave San Jose without that third year. And if it is an issue for the cap we’ll move his contract. Right now though, the Leafs are making a statement. They are going to keep pressing forward.

    • Capt.Jay

      I’m hoping they know something we don’t. The whole thing about last season being awesome is that we finally iced a team we drafted and traded for. Not with over paid, over the hill vets. Sorry, I think Marleau was great and is probably a super guy, but this signing and term is 5 years too late.

  • Tombstone

    I don’t understand if Matthews is as good as McDavid why does Toronto need a $6.25mil/yr player.
    McDavid turned Patrick Maroon, who was a grinder and making $1.5mil/yr, into a 27 goal scorer. Must be why McDavid is worth $13mil/ yr.

      • Skill2Envy

        Tombstone never said he was as good, but can do comparable things – like boost the players around him.

        This league is tiers/pyramid – McDavid and Crosby at the top, followed by a group that includes guys like Kane, Malkin, Ovechkin, Karlsson, Subban, Doughty, Thornton, Stamkos,Travares, Matthews, Eichel etc.

        Then you have guys like Toews, JVR, Marleau, Vlasic, Gardiner, Josi, Forsberg etc.

        You get the point.

  • Ryan68

    $18.75 over 3 years for a washed up 40pt. player? That contract is going to look pretty stupid in two years when the Leafs need $25M a year to sign Matthews et al.

    • getrdone

      I am really confused here, over the past few years there have been many an article written about when a person’s production starts to falter and length of contracts. Then here we go with a 37 year old guy and give him 3 years. Sorry, I do not get it. His production has gone down over the past few years as well and irregardless of whether or not he has been health over his career, this guy has a lot of miles on him.

      • Kanuunankuula

        This really is not ideal. I’ve tried talking myself into this. At best they think they can get rid of the last year, but still not a good deal. Too long for that age. Overpriced (rated as 4mil player).

  • Skill2Envy

    The LW was pretty weak behind JVR, this signing addresses many things..
    1) Much needed LW depth.
    2) Centre depth is still weak so if someone goes down, Marleau is a good insurance policy to slide over.
    3) Replaces JVR’s production after this season or if they move JVR anytime before then.
    4) I would suspect this deal might actually help keep Matthews, Nylander and Marner’s new deals (mainly the latter 2) reasonable when comparing production. Sure Marleau is older but still produces and has a track record – they can argue with Lou, he will just point to Marleau.

    Not to most pressing need signing but it’s certainly not a terrible one.

    • jimbobray

      At 38 Marleau is in a position to mentor the kids, except he’s never won a cup in 19 years, the team gets to the playoffs a lot but folds. What kind of mentor is that, a guy who’s never won. It’d be funny if it weren’t so tragic, paying a king’s ransom for a guy in the twilight zone in more ways than one.

      Even Dave Nonis wouldn’t have done this deal, as foolish as he was. I swear Lou has crossed over into dementia, trying desperately to bring the Leafs a cup soon before he forgets his own name. The sooner he is sent to the rest home the better. Why didn’t Lilegren commit to Sweden for next two years? Because he doesn’t want to cut his hair, like the draconian old dictator Lamarello insists upon, dragging these modern kids back into the long past era of drill sergeant Punch Imlach. Who won the Cup these past two years? A team with lots of hair, including facial hair. Gotta give these kids their freedom, let them express themselves in every way. Lou, you’ve outlived your usefulness, retire while you still have some respect.

  • McLean_Deluxe

    The reality is that the dollar amount means nothing for next 2 years. This is the exact way they should have used their excess cap space except for the third year. It still likely wont have any impact on the ability to sign any of their own RFAs in 2019-2020, but certainly reduces their flexibility. Would have made sense to do this deal with a little bit younger player.

      • In fairness, one you’re using LTIR at all, be it $50 or $7.5 million, overages have the same impact. May as well push it to the brink if you’re going to use it, and Toronto was set to use it even if they stuck to just signing depth this week.

        • Kanuunankuula

          Well you can do that, but it would be beneficial to eat the bonuses before the Marner/Matthews year. As you and others have pointed out, LTIR =!= not free cap space.

      • getrdone

        It is not the money for me, that will work out with the timing of new contracts for the three young guns. What bugs me is that I have read so much about when a player is at his best and how long a term you should sign a player for and that they start going down in their production on their late 20s, well where has all that logic gone here? 37 years old and you give him 3 years without a way out because of his age. This guy has a lot of miles on that old carcass.

          • Don’t be silly.

            The age curve slows down again after about 36, and not to mention these curves are mean averages. Superstars tend to defy them a bit, and as you’ll notice on this site, we’ve not been shy to encourage signing veteran superstars.

            Obviously, it’d be nuts to commit 8 years to a veteran but 3 that really looks more like 2 is probably fine.

  • Kanuunankuula

    So, who’s not getting in the starting 12?
    At LW we have:
    Leivo
    JVR
    Komarov
    Martin
    Hyman
    Marleau

    At RW:
    (Leivo)
    Brown
    Kapanen
    Nylander
    Soshnikov
    Marner