Max Dumy signs a one-year, $3 million AAV deal with the Maple Leafs.
Shawn McIndoeIt’s fair to say that the second day of free agency was better for Brad Treliving than the first. After receiving mixed (or worse) reviews for touchdowns by Ryan Reaves and John Klingberg, Treliving gets better marks for signing Tyler Bertuzzi. I think the Max Domi deal would fall into that category as well.
We’ll get to the proper situation in a second, but first things first: It’s great to see a Tie Domi kid playing the Maple Leafs. Think what you want from the old man, but in his prime, he was one of the most popular Leafs of the era, and his name may have been echoed by the ACC crowd more than anyone in history. now The two-eyed child who used to accompany him in his footsteps. Even an old cynic like you can really appreciate that. (Also, Sam Lafferty better give him his father’s number 28.)
Sentiment aside, the deal is good for the Leafs and has the potential to be a great deal for Domi, who will get a chance to put up numbers with some talented guys and get more interest in it than he would in any other market, both of which could help. When it enters the market again next summer. Meanwhile, the Leafs are getting a solid six-middle cut that can provide some of that offense that keeps disappearing into the playoffs. AAV is fair, and a one-year term means the risk here is low.
Ironically, Treliving’s weekend will probably be lauded louder than the same voices that have spent years telling us the Leafs can’t play defense, given that’s the side of the ledger that’s been beaten the last few days. But this team needed offensive help, along with a little ugliness. Domi can provide both. And maybe he can also add a little reminder of the days when this team was fun to cheer on.
contract degree: a-
appropriate grade: b +
Sean GentileMax Dumy is not a good defensive player. It’s actually bad. We have to get this out of the way because he’s the biggest reason the Leafs don’t like this deal. His work is, by all accounts, very poor at its end, including that of Dom Luszczyszyn, and it always has been. This is part of the reason the Leafs are its sixth team. The numbers refer to the player, and short wingers who don’t play a defensive game are usually not favored by coaches. Duly noted.
If Domi was a defensive stud, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. It would be a year or two in a huge long contract. When we roll on a curve, as we should, it’s impossible to look at this as anything other than a really great win for Toronto – and that’s without taking family ties into account.
What’s been consistently lost in the Maple Leafs’ rhetoric over the past few years is that, when playoff time came, they didn’t just need to pack, goaltending, or play solid defense. They need to produce points – and they need it from outside the Core Four. It would have been great for Toronto, no doubt, if Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews had each put up a half-dozen against the Panthers. The fact that they didn’t do that is a problem. But one way to guard against that – and one area where the 2022-23 roster fell short – is to put some attacking strikes into the line-up.
Domi brings that up. He is versatile and can play in a pinch, although Bertuzzi in battle may not be superfluous. With Chicago last season, Domi put up 49 points in 60 games (1.9/60). In the playoffs with Dallas—a team with a much deeper attacking group—he had 13 in 19 games (2.47/60, second on the team to Roope Hintz).
Are there risks? certainly. Perhaps his defensive problems nullified his offensive production; They certainly have in the past. But the potential, plus the tendency to react after the whistle, if that’s something you like and think the Leaf lacks, makes it more than worth the money. Think of it this way: How else would they have spent it better?
contract degree: a
appropriate grade: a-
(Photo: Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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