The Leafs continue to be linked to Wayne Simmonds and it’s not surprising considering he is the type of player Dubas should be looking to add in the team’s bottom six. He’s got the physical edge to his game and managed to remain in the lineup last season.
Simmonds will definitely have suitors but if he’s serious about being on a contending team, then he’ll have to decide what’s more important; getting paid or finding the best situation for him. We’ve already discussed why this would be a perfect situation for both the Leafs and Simmonds and unless he gets blown away with another offer.
That’s not the only area the Leafs should look to add a player who not only brings toughness but can also be a regular contributor as there is a blueliner who fits a similar mould.
You won’t find a tougher, grittier defenceman that also satifies the analytics crowd like Radko Gudas. At this point, considering how Cody Ceci performed, Gudas would certainly be a welcomed addition especially for the Leafs penalty kill.
The cautionary tale is is paying top dollar for a player who’s best offensive season was six goals and 23 points but that’s not why you are signing him. He has been used heavily in the defensive zone throughout his career which would take some pressure off a player like Justin Holl.
Considering the Leafs also have Rasmus Sandin looking to make the jump it would be nice to have a player like Gudas who will come to his defence if an opposing player tries to rough him up. Of course, Gudas will have a lot of suitors and might not be the most attractive name out there but we already know the Leafs are trying to improve their team’s identity and get players who are tough to play against and that’s what Gudas is.
He is coming off a four-year deal that paid him $3.35 million per season so you have to think the Leafs are looking at something less than that on a two-year deal.