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Leafs Move Kessel, Sign Hunwick, Parenteau, Arcobello, Re-sign Winnik

July 1, 2015, 10:46 AM ET [3007 Comments]
Mike Augello
Toronto Maple Leafs Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Here are the Leafs moves on July 1 so far:

1)Signed free agent forward Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau to a one-year, $1.5 Million deal.

2)Toronto sends forwards Phil Kessel and Tyler Biggs, defenseman Tim Erixon, Pittsburgh's 2nd round pick in 2016 to the Penguins for defenseman Scott Harrington, forwards Kasperi Kapanen and Nic Spaling, Pittsburgh's 2016 1st(conditional) and 3rd round pick.

3)Signed defenseman Matt Hunwick for two years, $2.4 Million.

4)Re-signed forward Richard Panik to a one-year, $975,000 deal.

5)Sign free agent forward Mark Arcobello to one-year, $1.1 Million deal.

6)Sign free agent forward Daniel Winnik to a two-year, $4.5 Million deal.

If you take Brendan Shanahan at his word, the Toronto Maple Leafs will not be making any big splashy signings when free agents come available at 12 Noon on Wednesday.

“I don't know that we will be the headline stealers in the NHL on July 1st, but certainly we'll be active." Shanahan said. "You might have a different set of targets (than) some of the teams."

The Leafs are not expected to be in the bidding for the top forward, winger Matt Beleskey of the Anaheim Ducks, who could be the Jason Blake or David Clarkson of this free agent class. Beleskey scored 22 goals in his free agent walk year after a previous high water mark of 11 goals in 2009-10, similar to Blake scoring 40 goals with the Islanders in 2007 and Clarkson’s 30-goal campaign in 2012.

The market for free agent defenseman is expected to be brisk, but there are not enough blueliners to go around after the top of the class in Andrej Sekera, Mike Green and Cody Franson go off the board.

The trio are all could garner deals in excess of five years and $5 Million per season. Teams looking for veteran blueline help may turn to Christian Ehrhoff, Paul Martin or Francois Beauchemin as short term options, but it is possible that the Maple Leafs will find a suitor for team captain Dion Phaneuf from a club that missed out in free agency.

Various reports leading up to free agency have indicated that Toronto may be interested in bringing Franson back into the fold, but the talk could be the standard operating procedure of using the Toronto media market to stir up more interest in a defenseman that did not play well after being traded to Nashville prior to the trade deadline.

If Franson was signed by the Leafs, it would likely mean moving out Phaneuf.

Toronto appears to be looking for short term options in free agency. Role players similar to Daniel Winnik and Mike Santorelli who sign economical deals or younger reclamation projects like Cody Hodgson looking for a fresh start.

The question is whether Toronto can take advantage of the need of many teams to add scoring that has no answer in free agency after Beleskey.

There is a muddled picture regarding how close the Leafs are to moving Phil Kessel. The trade of Brandon Saad to Columbus may have an effect on the market, since teams like Pittsburgh were reportedly missed out on acquiring the winger and could turn to other options.

Sportsnet's Chris Johnston indicated on FAN 590 Tuesday afternoon that a deal between the Leafs and Penguins is possible and might be more likely than potential trades with the Chicago Blackhawks for winger Patrick Sharp or St. Louis Blues for TJ Oshie because those clubs would not be willing to take back salary in a potential deal.

With the trade of Saad, the Hawks still have cap difficulties but might have to keep Sharp as a viable top six option and move another costly contract in Bryan Bickell. Sharp was considered an option for teams looking for a scoring forward and that could increase the interest in Kessel.

TSN’s Darren Dreger is not as optimistic about a Kessel deal involving the Penguins since Newport Sports(Kessel's representatives) have not been contacted by Toronto management, but is reporting that the Arizona Coyotes have interest in center Tyler Bozak.

Will be updating with the latest news throughout the day.

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