The Toronto Maple Leafs came to terms with restricted free-agent winger Ilya Mikheyev on a two-year contract worth $3.29 million.
Ilya Mikheyev and the Toronto Maple Leafs avoided arbitration by coming to a new deal that will pay the 26-year old an average annual value of $1.645 million.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, The Leafs were said to be looking for a 2-year deal at $1 million per year, while Mikheyev’s camp was looking for a 1-year pact at $2.7 million.
This is a fair compromise to avoid arbitration and continue to shape the Maple Leafs roster ahead of next season. The signing is the latest in a busy offseason for general manager Kyle Dubas.
The ‘Soup Man’ is a fan favourite
Toronto Maple Leafs fans fell for the undrafted free-agent last season after signing from the KHL. He scored in his first game with the team and became a notable soup enthusiast.
His promising rookie campaign was cut short after 39 games by a severe laceration from a skate blade. Mikheyev did wind up producing 8 goals and 15 assists in his first NHL campaign. He was also a plus-7 for the season.
During the qualifying round loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Russian was held off the scoresheet in five games.
The Maple Leafs roster is beginning to look fairly complete, with the team still having to deal with restricted free agents Travis Dermott and Joey Anderson.
According to Cap Friendly, the Leafs are now $175,000 over the cap with 22 players on the roster. So a little more massaging will need to be done.
Could there be one more trade ahead for the Maple Leafs? Perhaps Justin Holl or Alexander Kerfoot could be moved and replaced with cheaper options to fit under the salary cap.
Dubas maintained that the Leafs would not be creative in improving their roster while keeping their top four forwards on the team. So far, it would appear he has accomplished that.
What do you think of the Ilya Mikheyev signing for the Toronto Maple Leafs? Do you think the team has any more moves to make? Let us know in the comments below.