The Toronto Maple Leafs have taken care of one of their three restricted free agents, signing center Frederik Gauthier to a two-year, two-way deal worth $1.35 Million.
The Leafs 2013 first round pick was a key contributor for the Toronto Marlies run to the Calder Cup, scoring eight points (2 goals, 6 assists) in 20 games, including a double overtime game-winner in a second round series against the Syracuse Crunch.
Gauthier, 23, also played nine games for the Leafs last season, as head coach Mike Babcock searched for an alternative on the fourth line other than veteran Dominic Moore, but the 6’5” 232 lb. center did not use his size to his advantage and some believe that might have been his last realistic chance to make the Leafs roster on a full time basis.
It is expected that Gauthier will battle free agent signings Josh Jooris and Par Lindholm for the 4th line C job.
The Leafs announced on Tuesday that they will return to Niagara Falls, Ontario to begin their 2018-19 training camp. The club will hold medicals and media day at their practice facility in Etobicoke, ON on Thursday, September 13 and then will hold three days of on-ice sessions at the Gale Centre Arena from Friday, September 14 to Sunday, September 16.
Although an official announcement has not been made, the annual rookie tournament is expected to be held in Laval, Quebec from September 7 to 9 against the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators.
The Toronto Maple Leafs continued to add to their scouting department under Kyle Dubas with the hiring of Ricky Olczyk and Blair MacKasey.
Olczyk, 48, is the younger brother of former Leaf and current NBC commentator Ed Olczyk and served as an Assistant GM to Ron Francis in Carolina.
Mackasey, 62, was head scout for Hockey Canada from 2002 to 2005 and served as Director of Pro Scouting for the Minnesota Wild the last 12 seasons.
These additions could be in preparation for some exits from the Leafs scouting staff. Arthur Staple of the Athletic reported on Tuesday that former Leafs Asst. GM Mark Hunter may be joining Lou Lamoriello in Brooklyn when his non-compete expires this weekend.
If that occurs, Hunter hirings Jim Paliafito (Director of Player Evaluation) and Lindsay Hofford (Director of Eastern Area Scouting) could join the Islanders scouting staff.
Here is the latest edition of "The Leafs Convo", please watch and subscribe to our YouTube page.and/or listen on iTunes and keep the podcast going by contributing through Patreon.com.
*******If you are interested in sponsorship or advertising your business in the Greater Toronto / Southern Ontario area on this column, please send a message for more information by clicking on the “Contact” button at the top of the page.*******