Alberga’s Take: The Leafs should target Adam Henrique in free agency

Photo credit:Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
27 days ago
T-minus one week until the start of NHL free agency.
Lost in the hoopla of the Stanley Cup Final is the fact that the offseason will begin in earnest once Lord Stanley is hoisted on Monday night.
With Toronto’s coaching staff now set for the 2024-25 campaign, all eyes are now firmly on the roster to see what Brad Treliving does next.
Furthermore, there’s a certain player taking part in the Cup Final with ties to the area that could prove to be a big-time addition for the Maple Leafs.
And it’s not who you think.
There’s no question that his market is building by the day, but at the very least, the Leafs should place a call on pending unrestricted free agent Adam Henrique later this week.
For starters, indisputably, the 34-year-old, who went 12 years between Stanley Cup Final appearances, possesses the clutch factor Toronto desperately needs more of. In fact, according to NHL PR, Henrique, who owns two of Edmonton’s three game-winning goals in the series, is the first player in Cup Final history with three-plus career game-winning goals in potential elimination games.
Talk about clutch.
In one week from now, for the first time in his career, the Burford, Ontario native will have a chance to call his own shot —unless he re-signs with Edmonton.
For a variety of reasons, Henrique would be an excellent fit for Toronto. Firstly, as he’s proven in this run for the Oilers, he’s extremely versatile. He can play the wing, he can play centre, he can play up the lineup, he can play down it. Additionally, he’s a fantastic penalty killer. That said, he definitely has some offensive upside to his game as well. In many respects, Henrique’s proven to be this year’s Artturi Lehkonen. In 2022, the former Hab played the same kind of role for the Colorado Avalanche, who went on to win the Stanley Cup.
Over and above all that, as mentioned, the former Duck and Devil has some loose attachment to the Leafs organization. That’s because his father-in-law is Steve ‘Stumpy’ Thomas, who unquestionably has no shortage of great things to say about his time in the blue and white.
Any way you slice it, Adam Henrique’s professionalism, work ethic, reputation, and leadership qualities, among other skills, should make him an ideal target for the Maple Leafs.
Imagine if he wore No. 32?

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