The Toronto Maple Leafs have got their top pair defenseman.
While the word was that they were going to pursue Alex Pietrangelo in free agency, or maybe go the trade route and acquire David Savard or MacKenzie Weegar, they’ve decided on TJ Brodie. The deal comes at a $5 million AAV for four years, according to Elliotte Friedman.
Brodie is 4x$5M
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 9, 2020
This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, as the Leafs have had Brodie on their radar for a while now. It was reported last year when they were trading Nazem Kadri that one of the deals was Brodie and Mark Jankowski until Kadri nixed it.
While he wasn’t the best defenseman on the market, he was an ideal consolation prize for Toronto, as he still provides a lot of value, especially where the Leafs need it most: defensively. While he shoots left, he has been more than capable on the right side in Calgary and can fill that role a lot better than Ron Hainsey tried to in years past.
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) October 9, 2020
He’s also not a slouch offensively, as he is usually good for 30-40 points in a season, although he is just coming off of a 19 point season.
As for the deal itself, it’s probably a bit of an overpayment, particularly on the back half of that deal, but for a team looking to improve their defense and contend while in a cap crunch, this was probably one of the smarter options for the Leafs, and it didn’t cost them anybody at the moment to acquire him (although someone will probably be traded to make cap space).
— dom luszczyszyn (@domluszczyszyn) October 9, 2020