Bargain Free Agents Toronto Maple Leafs Should Chase in 2014 Offseason

James Onusko@@jonuskoContributor IIIMay 15, 2014

Bargain Free Agents Toronto Maple Leafs Should Chase in 2014 Offseason

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    The Toronto Maple Leafs may not be very active in the free-agent market this summer.

    Yet, with the disappointing finish to the regular season, change is inevitable.

    The club has had some very real cap issues, and a lot depends on how the Leafs treat their restricted free agents and players like David Bolland, who may or may not be willing to stay in Toronto.

    Let's take a look at some potential bargain free agents whom Brendan Shanahan and Dave Nonis might be considering.

Al Montoya, Goaltender

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    Kevork Djansezian/Associated Press

    While goaltender Al Montoya is unlikely to ever become a starter, the American netminder could be a good find for the Leafs with the emergence of Jonathan Bernier as the No. 1 starter.

    Montoya posted a .920 save percentage in 2013-14 behind a relatively weak defensive team in Winnipeg. He had a winning record and could play 25 to 30 games in Toronto next season.

    He made just $601,000 last season, and that salary, or something near to it, would make a lot of sense in Hogtown.

Benoit Pouliot, Winger

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Benoit Pouliot could be a very serviceable winger for the Leafs. He's a pending unrestricted free agent who made $1.3 million last year.

    He could also contribute 30 to 40 points in a third-line role while playing solid two-way hockey.

    He's just 27 years old, his Corsi numbers have been very good for a number of seasons, and he posted a Corsi number of 55.1 percent this past season.

    If Pouliot can be signed somewhere in his current salary range, he would be a good fit in Toronto.

Devin Setoguchi, Winger

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    LM Otero/Associated Press

    Devin Setoguchi is not a top-line player, but the Leafs don't need help there on the wing. What the club needs is depth in the bottom six.

    He could be useful in that role. He's 27, so he should have at least two or three more good seasons ahead of him.

    The winger is unlikely to be signed at the $3 million level he's at right now. If the Leafs could sign him around the $2 million level, it would make some sense.

    Setoguchi had just 11 goals with the Winnipeg Jets last season, but the Leafs would be looking for him to provide more of an all-around game instead an offensive game. He seems capable of doing this. 

    If he could chip in with 15 goals or more, he could be a decent bargain signing for the Leafs.

Marcel Goc, Centre

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Marcel Goc is coming out of a contract that paid him $1.3 million per season.

    At 6'1", 197 pounds, he has some size, and he has the ability to play relatively strong two-way hockey. He's posted good Corsi numbers over the past four seasons.

    The native of Calw, Germany has posted modest offensive numbers with just 179 points in 562 career games. But in a bottom-six role, the pivot could provide good veteran depth at a reasonable salary.

Tom Gilbert, Defenceman

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    Gus Ruelas/Associated Press

    Defender Tom Gilbert made just less than $1 million in 2013-14. He had a strong season in Florida, and he could be a strong, veteran presence on the Leafs blue line.

    The 6'3" Minnesota native had 28 points this season and a 51.7 percent Corsi number on a comparatively weak Florida team.

    Gilbert is not a physical defender, but he's a solid puck-moving defenceman who doesn't make many mistakes with the puck.

    He could slot in on the second or third pair on the back end. If he were to be signed anywhere near his current salary, he would be a bargain free-agent signing.


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