Seems to be a non holiday for Brian Burke and his management team this July 1st as they were all busy signing and re-signing players to the organization.
First off the bat, the Leafs have gotten bigger and stronger down the middle with acquiring Jay McClement from the Colorado Avalanche for a 2 year year deal costing an estimate of 3 millions dollars. McClement was a 7th round draft pick in 2001 and is a 7 year vet. A shut down forward who can play against the top line forwards, a very good face-off man and PK player.
Also the other new body brought in is defense man Mike Kostka, he played for the AHL Champions Norfolk Admirals. A 6’ 1”, 200 lb native of Etobicoke, leading the Norfolk defense with 12 points in the past years playoffs.
Staying on the home front, the Leafs were able to re-sign F. Matt Frattin to a 2 year deal and with one year deals were F. Ryan Hamilton and G. Jussi Rynnas, no dollar amounts were disclosed.
On the other side of the table for deals to be done involving the Leafs were F. Colby Armstrong heading to the Montreal Canadians with a 1 year, 1 million dollar deal locked up. Goaltender Jonus Gustavvsan has moved onto back up Jimmy Howard in Detroit after signing a 2 year, 3 million dollar deal (maybe he will start vs. the Leafs in the Winter Classic?)
All in all a good start for the Toronto Maple Leafs for signings on July 1st, the start of UFA frenzy. I am sure there will be more to follow as the ‘Big Guns’ haven’t been even mentioned yet, that being Praise, goalie Martin Brodeur and d-man Suter plus any trade movement of Nash or Luongo, so stay tuned as all these players will or may have new home addresses in a very short time.
By Warren Nye, UltimateHockeySource.com
July 2nd, 2012