NHL Free-Agent Signings 2012: Maple Leafs and Jay McClement Agree to Deal

Austin GreenCorrespondent IJuly 1, 2012

BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 14: Jay McClement #16 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center on March 14, 2012 in Buffalo, New York. The Avalanche defeated the Sabres 5-4 in the shootout.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs have made an early splash in the free-agency period, landing center Jay McClement, according to Bob McKenzie of TSN.

TOR signs Jay McClement to to 2 year deal worth $3M.

— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2012

This is an excellent addition for Toronto, who desperately needed some fresh blood after finishing fourth in the Northeast Division with a 35-37-10 record. It was another disappointing season for the storied franchise, whose last playoff appearance came in the 2003-04 season.

McClement will look to lead them back to the postseason, and with his varied skill set, he should have a solid impact on the Maple Leafs.

The 29-year-old was the third-line center for the Colorado Avalanche most of last season, scoring 10 goals and dishing out seven assists. Those numbers aren't particularly striking, but with his faceoff and penalty-killing abilities, it's easy to see why he was highly coveted this offseason.

McClement won 51.3 percent of his faceoffs and was a major reason why the Avs improved from 30th (76.1 percent) to 12th (83 percent) in penalty killing this season. Look for him to have a similar impact on the Maple Leafs, who finished 28th in the league this year with a 77.3 penalty kill percentage.

Related

    Toronto Maple Leafs prospect report: It’s Mattinen vs Rasanen in the conference finals

    Toronto Maple Leafs logo
    Toronto Maple Leafs

    Toronto Maple Leafs prospect report: It’s Mattinen vs Rasanen in the conference finals

    Pension Plan Puppets
    via Pension Plan Puppets

    Sharks Sweep Anaheim, Get Golden Knights Next

    NHL logo
    NHL

    Sharks Sweep Anaheim, Get Golden Knights Next

    NBCS Bay Area
    via NBCS Bay Area

    Forsberg, Rinne Help Predators Beat Avalanche 3-2 in Game 4

    NHL logo
    NHL

    Forsberg, Rinne Help Predators Beat Avalanche 3-2 in Game 4

    ESPN.com
    via ESPN.com

    Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Boston Bruins: Keys to Game 4

    Toronto Maple Leafs logo
    Toronto Maple Leafs

    Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Boston Bruins: Keys to Game 4

    Alec Brownscombe
    via Maple Leafs Hotstove