The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired RW Jamal Mayers from the St. Louis Blues for a 3rd Round Pick in Friday's Draft.
Mayers, 33, is a Toronto native and regular fixture on Canada's IIHF World Hockey Championship teams, including the silver-medal winning 2008 team. For over two years, the Leafs have at times been rumoured to be trying to acquire Mayers and now finally have the 6'1" 214lbs forward.
His stats from last season are: 80 GP, 12 G, 15 A, 27 PTS, 91 PIM
His current contract will pay him $1.4million for each of the next two seasons with a Cap Number of $1.33 million.
Now the question on everyone's minds is "What exactly does this mean?"
And that is a tough question to answer.
While I like Mayers and the gritty style of play he brings, this seems like a step backwards... at least at first. I mean, the Leafs were supposed to add Draft Picks by getting rid of veteran players, not the opposite. But, it is only a 3rd Rounder and the Leafs have a bunch of picks in the draft already, so it is not too much of a price to pay for a tough guy who can still score some goals and add some character to a sometimes lifeless Leaf roster.
Looking closer, however, you may speculate that this move is in preparation for the likely unloading of another Leaf forward. Perhaps Darcy Tucker, as he plays a very similar style game, but with a much bigger contract. Whether this would mean Tucker would be bought out or has agreed to a trade is anybody's guess.
This could also mean that Toronto and St. Louis are only getting started and will be coming together for more deals on Friday. St. Louis does hold the #4 Pick if the Leafs are wanting to move up.
Or, maybe they plan to use Jamal as part of another trade package to land somebody else.
Only time will tell, but if this is any indication Friday could be a very busy day the Maple Leafs. Hopefully it is.