Leafs Sign McClement; Re-sign Frattin
The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed center Jay McClement for two years with a $1.5-million cap-hit, as well as re-sign forward Matt Frattin to a two-year deal worth 850K per season.
The signing is hardly a big splash from general manager Brian Burke, but that’s probably a good thing. McClement will likely play on the third or fourth line, and log significant minutes on the penalty kill. He led the Colorado Avalanche, and was third among forwards in the National Hockey League, in SH TOI/G with 3:06. McClement only averaged 10:03 of even-strength ice-time so his skillset is suited for the penalty kill---an area that has decimated the Leafs since the lockout. He should mesh well under Randy Carlyle’s system, and even if he doesn’t, his cap-hit isn’t significant and poses no risk for the Leafs.
McClement, 29, is also Ontario-born as he is from Kingston. So yeah, Don Cherry is probably pretty amped right now. McClement registered an -11.6 in Corsi relative but started roughly 65 per cent of his shifts in the defensive zone, so the 6’1, 205-pound forward is relied upon for tough minutes.
The re-signing of Frattin is good news. At 850K he’ll fit in nicely under the salary cap and he has potential as an effective third-line power forward. It’s interesting that Burke opted to award him a one-way contract, but following his impressive stint with the Toronto Marlies in the playoffs, Frattin seems poised to stick with big club.
Expect more movement from the Leafs as the team now has 12 forwards on one-way deals with Nikolai Kulemin yet to sign and Nazem Kadri looking for a roster spot. Matthew Lombardi is likely on the way out, but Burke may have something else up his sleeve.
You stay classy, TCL.
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