Leafs: Analyzing Their Forward Core Going into Next Year (Post Free Agency)

July 3rd, 2012 by Francesco Piacente Leave a reply »
General Manager Brian Burke of the Toronto Maple Leafs made huge steps towards solidifying the bottom six of the forward core with his free agency moves this past weekend.

After seeing Travis Moen re-sign with the Montreal Canadiens and Brandon Prust join him on the Habs, the quality available of bottom six forwards were steadily decreasing. Burke quickly scooped up one of the few remaining high-caliber grinders, signing former Colorado Avalanche and St.Louis Blue Jay McClement to a two-year deal. Burke also retained restricted free agent Matt Frattin, signing him to a two-year deal.

I have heard many criticize the lack of moves that Burke made this past weekend. However, I for one am actually impressed with the moves that he made. He openly stated that the big holes on the roster would likely be filled by trades as opposed to free agents, so the addition of McClement was a pleasant surprise.

In McClement, he has an extremely defensive center who thrives on the penalty kill. He led the Colorado Avalanche in short-handed ice time and was third in the entire NHL for forwards in that regard. He has also shown the ability to chip in on th ...

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