With the cap flexibility the Leafs opened up yesterday in their trade for the David Clarkson contract, today it was time to make some things official around signing news we heard earlier in the summer. Oh, and sign like four other guys besides that too.
This morning Toronto announced they’ve signed seven unrestricted free agents who will fill in at basically all levels of the organization.
First off, we’ve known about the deals for depth NHL forwards Nick Shore and Kenny Agostino since July 1st; Those are now official. Former Oilers defenceman Kevin Gravel is also in the fold, along with fringe forward Garret Wilson who we started to hear rumblings about this past week. But as an added surprise, the Leafs announced a deal with winger Pontus Aberg, who tallied up 25 points over 59 NHL games last season split between the Ducks and Wild. Didn’t see that one coming.
Rounding out the announcement were AHL mainstays Tyler Gaudet and Kalle Kossila, who both score at a decent clip in the minors year-to-year (Kossila especially, who is near point-per-game).
🖋️ Pontus Aberg
🖋️ Kenny Agostino
🖋️ Tyler Gaudet
🖋️ Kalle Kossila
🖋️ Nick Shore
🖋️ Garrett Wilson
🖋️ Kevin Gravel
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 24, 2019
So yeah, at first glance that’s a lot of volume and not much in the way of headline-makers. But these are still important moves. Shore, Agostino, and Aberg in particular will all play plenty of games for the Leafs this coming season, and provide absurdly cheap depth on a team that needs it to fill in around ever-increasingly expensive stars. Wilson and Gravel will likely get looks as well. A lot of these names aren’t exactly familiar but at the very least make the Marlies stronger and help keep the organization competitive at all three pro levels for the foreseeable future, and there’s value in that.
All of these contracts will carry a cap hit of $750,000 or less, with Gaudet and Kossila being on two-way deals.