Toronto has added yet another experienced forward via free agency, agreeing to terms with former Anaheim Duck Daniel Winnik on a one-year deal.
UPDATE: Per ESPN, the contract is for $1.3 million.
Winnik, 29, is an interesting case study. He scored a career-high 30 points last season — while making a tidy $1.8 million — and at times proved to be a useful, big-body forward over the course of two years with the Ducks. The former Coyote, Shark and Avalanche did fall out of Bruce Boudreau’s favor in the postseason, though, sitting as a healthy scratch on a number of occasions while recording just one assist in nine games.
That said, there’s certainly upside to his game.
Winnik has good size (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) and shown consistent scoring ability, putting up identical 11-goal, 26-point campaigns in Phoenix and Colorado earlier in his career. As for Toronto taking a one-year flier on him, it’s very similar to what the Leafs did with ex-Canucks forwards David Booth — who, last week, received a one-year, $1.1M deal after getting bought out — and Mike Santorelli, who signed in Toronto for $1.5M after Vancouver let him walk in free agency.
This “vets on the cheap” blueprint was hatched last season, when Toronto inked another ex-Canuck — Mason Raymond — after inviting him to training camp on a PTO. Raymond scored 19 goals and 45 points while playing on a $1M contract, and subsequently landed a three-year, $9.45M deal from Calgary this offseason.
As for Winnik… his $1.3 million cap hit leaves Toronto with around $3M to get a new deal done with RFA defenseman Jake Gardiner (it also leaves Toronto with 17 forwards on NHL contracts, so that’s something else to monitor.)