Toronto Maple Leafs (2017)
It was year three of the rebuild and the Toronto Maple Leafs had already made the playoffs the previous year. After losing to the Washington Capitals in six games it was clear that the Maple Leafs needed help on the blueline and some veteran depth to help guide the kids.
Who did Lou get: Patrick Marleau, Ron Hainsey, Dominic Moore
Lou brought in 37-year-old Patrick Marleau on a three year $18.75 million deal ($6.25 million AAV). Sure, Marleau twice scored over 80 points, but the last time he did so was 2008-2009. The Leafs were paying one heck of a premium for leadership.
But the veteran clearly gelled with players like Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and Auston Mathews. He also put up 27 goals and 47 points on the season. It’s a good return. But is it $6.25 million worth? For another two years?
Next was veteran blueliner Ron Hainsey. A veteran brought in to teach something to young defenders Morgan Reily and Jake Gardiner. Just like Marleau, Hainsey was on the wrong side of 35. At 37-year-old now, he still has a year left on that two-year $6 million deal Lou gave him.
And after years away from Toronto, Dominic Moore was back. It had been a long time since the 37-year-old had put up 41 points for the buds. But he was back to bring some leadership. Too bad he couldn’t put in a few more points. His 12 points in 50 games were his lowest since 2007-08.
Lou wanted to bring in some veteran leadership to complement his core of young studs. He did that, but is the money that still left on the table to these players worth it?