Maple Leafs very active with trades and signings during Free Agent Frenzy
It’s the first day of free agency in the NHL and that means it’s ‘Free Agent Frenzy Day.’ The day most NHL teams try to add some much needed tools to bolster their lineups. To start things off in Leafs land, the Toronto Maple Leafs added the goaltending depth they were looking for, announcing today that the hockey club has signed former Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrázek to a three-year contract. The contract carries an annual average value of $3.8 million.
Mrázek, 29, joins the Maple Leafs after nine NHL seasons between the Carolina Hurricanes (2018-2021), Philadelphia Flyers (2018) and Detroit Red Wings (2012-2018). The Ostrava, Czech Republic native owns a record of 128-96-31 with a 2.59 goals against average, a .911 save percentage and 24 shutouts in 275 regular season games. Last season, he posted a 6-2-3 record with three shutouts, a 2.06 goals against average and a .911 save percentage in 12 regular season appearances.
Internationally, Mrázek has represented the Czech Republic at several tournaments, earning a bronze medal at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.
Mrázek was originally selected by Detroit in the fifth round (141st overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft.
The Maple Leafs also announced today that they have signed Chicago Blackhawks forward David Kämpf to a two-year $1.5 million annual averaged contract, and Sharks forward Kurtis Gabriel to a one-year contract worth $750,000.
The blue and white also acquired the rights to defencemen Brennan Menell from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a conditional seventh round selection in the 2022 NHL Draft. The selection will be transferred to Minnesota in the event Menell plays in 30 games for the Maple Leafs in 2021-22.
Kämpf, 26, skated in 56 regular season games with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2020-21 season, registering 12 points (1 goal, 11 assists). The Chomutov, Czech Republic native has recorded 58 points (17 goals, 41 assists) in 235 regular season games and has skated in nine playoff games, all with Chicago.
Gabriel, 28, spent last season with the San Jose Sharks organization, skating in 11 games with the Sharks while collecting three points (two goals, one assist) in two games with their American Hockey League affiliate, the San Jose Barracuda. Gabriel has registered five points and 55 penalty minutes in 49 career NHL games between the Sharks (2020-21), New Jersey Devils (2018-19) and Minnesota Wild (2015-17) while recording 66 points and 519 penalty minutes in 319 career AHL games.
The Newmarket, Ontario native was originally selected by Minnesota in the third round (81st overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.
Meanwhile, last season, Menell ranked second among KHL defencemen with 38 points (five goals, 33 assists) in 47 regular season games, and added seven points (one goal, six assists) in five playoff games with Dinamo Minsk. The Woodbury, Minnesota native has previously skated in five NHL games with the Wild while recording 116 points (15 goals, 101 assists) in 199 AHL games.
Menell, 24, originally signed with Minnesota as a free agent on September 26, 2017.
The Maple Leafs surely are not yet finished on this ‘free agent frenzy day’ as more announcements are expected to continue throughout the afternoon, evening and into the coming days. But the biggest signings usually happen on the first day as NHL teams clamour over each other to address their dire lineup needs.
by Terence Lankstead with SOURCE notes and photos by Toronto Maple Leafs/nhl.com