Simon Benoit signs a three-year, $4.05 million extension with the Maple Leafs

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
12 days ago
The Milkman is going to be sticking around for a while as Simon Benoit inked a three-year extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday.
The contract is valued at $4.05 million and will earn him $1.35 million per season throughout the deal. This is a well-deserved pay raise for a guy who was let go by his previous team and was not given a guaranteed spot to begin the season.
Benoit spent the prior three seasons with the Ducks with the 2022-23 campaign being his first full season in the NHL. He was forced into a difficult position at a critical time in his development where he had the fifth highest ice-time on a Ducks team that had a historically bad year. Despite leading the team in hits and blocks that year, it was not enough to earn him a tendered a qualifying offer by Anaheim and was thus made a UFA last summer.

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No one came calling for his services until the Leafs took a chance on the Laval native by signing him to a one-year, $775K contract in late August. Just when he thought he found himself in a better situation, back spasms during the preseason severely halted his progress and he was forced to miss nearly a month of action.
Injuries to the Leafs’ blueline in early November presented Benoit with an opportunity to be more than just a fill-in while the regulars recovered. Not only did he play well as a defensive defenceman, but he forced the team to keep him in the lineup which forced William Lagesson (who was originally getting the extended looks) to be on the outside looking in.
He has never looked back from then on and has remained a mainstay for the majority of the season. It says a lot about how much the coaching staff has valued what Benoit brings on a nightly basis when Sheldon Keefe admitted earlier this month that it killed him to have to sit the 25-year-old blueliner for a few games when having to acquaint the new arrivals.
It’s not just his reliable play that has won over the hearts of the team and fans, it is also his confidence and attitude towards tough setbacks. This is due in part to all of the bold statements he made back in September that ended up becoming true when he stated he would make the team despite his injuries and that the Ducks would regret their decision to not extend him.
He may not be a huge point-getter but his hard-nosed playstyle has filled the void left by Luke Schenn perfectly. In 54 games played, he has five points (one goal and four assists), 205 hits, and 82 blocks.

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