Mere moments before the salary arbitration deadline, Pierre Engvall has signed an extension with the Leafs.
We’ve signed forward Pierre Engvall to a one-year contract extension.#LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 17, 2022
The new contract pays him $2.25 million for the 2022-23 season, a nice pay raise given he is coming off a two-year deal that had a $1.25 million AAV.
Today was the deadline for RFAs with the option to file for arbitration could apply for one. Had Engvall decided to go this route, it would have established a hearing date for when he and the Leafs would debate over what the player should be paid and have that decided by a third-party arbitrator.
Avoiding this route entirely rids the team and Engvall of the pressure, meaning now the Leafs only have to worry about getting Rasmus Sandin’s contract sorted out since he is the last RFA they need to sign.
Engvall is coming off his breakout season where he set career highs all across the board with 15 goals, 20 assists, and 35 points, good enough for eighth on the team in scoring. He also added on three assists in seven playoff games, although all of them came in Game 3 against the Lightning. In addition, he posted some impressive underlying metrics all across the board at 5v5.
It was an impressive season that catapulted him to become one of the Leafs’ most important secondary scoring options and an integral part of the team’s future. Given that two-thirds of what made up a dominant third line made their departure in free agency, (Ilya Mikheyev and Ondrej Kase) getting Engvall to an extension was of the utmost importance and getting it done right at the deadline was a close call. Now the question remains who will be joining him and David Kampf to make up for the revamped third line.
As a result of Engvall’s contract, the Leafs are now $1.5 million over the salary cap heading into the 2022-23 season with 13 forwards, seven defencemen, and two goalies. A trade is almost certainly going to come in the weeks ahead that will clear up the necessary cap space to get Sandin’s contract done and add a top-six forward to the mix since improving the John Tavares line remains a top priority. (perhaps Nino Niederreiter or Sonny Milano)
Best of what’s left: pooper scooping free agency for the Leafs
Kyle Dubas’ summer is far from over, but he got a key piece under contract for next season. Now the focus shifts to their 2018 first-round pick and his new extension.
Stats from Hockey-Reference.com and Natural Stat Trick.
Salary information from PuckPe …
Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation