Welcome to the yearly wrap up of the top read articles over the last year!
One of the bigger rumours that circled the NHL this past offseason surrounded the biggest free agent defenceman — Alex Pietrangelo. Before he signed a mammoth deal with Vegas, his name had been linked to the Maple Leafs.
An article penned by TLN editor Jon Steitzer on October 3rd detailed how while the Leafs may not land him, they had some plan b’s and that was the 24th most read article this year.
Friedman hints that Pietrangelo and the Leafs might not happen, but they have some Plan Bs
While the deal didn’t happen, there’s no denying the interest that was there. He’s that surefire number one right-shot defenceman that every team in the league covets. But right from the get-go, there was the knowledge that it would be tough to make sure it happened.
There were a number of players linked to the Leafs: Dylan DeMelo, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Radko Gudas, Sami Vatanen, Chris Tanev, and T.J. Brodie.
The Leafs finally landed on Brodie signing him to a four-year, $5-million AAV deal days after free agency opened.
Here’s what Steitzer had to say in the aforementioned article:
None of these options are bad, but there are warts and shortcomings. None of them instantly make you feel better about the blueline like Pietrangelo does, instead we repeat the feelings we had when Barrie was brought in and carry some optimism and good vibes into the season instead of confidence.
It seems like a safe bet that Toronto will have new defenseman by next week, and while the optimism for Pietrangelo being it might have taken a hit today, there is a sense that this will be a bizarre week and things are going to change daily. The way the goaltending market shrunk swiftly in a couple hours this morning is a good example of that.