If you are fan of below average puns you have to be excited for the Marlies signing Matt Read to an AHL deal. If you are a fan of speedy two way veteran wingers you probably also like the move. Additionally, if you want to hold out hope that if the Leafs see their roster thin from injuries that Read could be a good option for them, you also probably like this deal. If you are going to work and the biggest sign on the window says “Minnows” then you might be a redneck.
Anyway, back to Matt Read.
Earlier this month I took a look at Matt Read, but included in that for those of you who don’t feel like clicking is a breakdown of how he compares to other Marlies veteran wingers…
|MATT READ||PONTUS ABERG||NIC PETAN||KENNY AGOSTINO|
|ONTARIO BOY?||YES!||SWEDE!||BC :'(||‘MURICA|
So all and all, on par with the field.
The post also concluded that the likely outcome was that he’d find himself with the Marlies if he wanted to be there, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t have long term Leafs aspirations.
Think back to last season when the Bruins signed Lee Stempniak prior to the trade deadline. They put him on waivers, he cleared, and boom, he was a full blown Bruin contracted player, making him eligible for callups. The Bruins never ended up leaning on Stempniak outside of two late season games, but he became playoff eligible for them. That’s a path that I wouldn’t rule on the Leafs taking with Read.
Read could become a veteran presence in the late part of the season and/or the playoffs, giving them a skilled bottom six player who can fill in on the penalty kill for them as well. He provides a safety net and possible look risk addition at the end of the year if the Leafs haven’t otherwise exhausted their players contracts, and when they are facing down the reality of their cap situation and the challenge to add players at the deadline.
In short, this is a win for Read who will likely a get a shot to prove that his pro hockey career should continue in North America, and it’s a win for the Leafs who have a trade deadline (or earlier) Plan B internal option that isn’t impacting their contract situation.
A hard working dude getting another shot, you love to see it.