Leafs hand Mason Raymond tryout offer

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The Toronto Maple Leafs invited speedy forward Mason Raymond to training camp with a professional tryout offer, TSN,  Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston and the Toronto Star’s Damien Cox report.

Raymond expressed his excitement to Next Sport Star’s Josh Rimer via texts.

“I am grateful to be given the opportunity to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs, an original six team,” Raymond said. “I look forward to the challenge.”

It’s a deft move for a Maple Leafs front office that has been awfully busy this summer.

If nothing else, it could put more heat on holdout center Nazem Kadri (and to some extent, defenseman Cody Franson) to sign a deal that’s friendlier to the Leafs. With a little under $5 million in cap space according to Cap Geek’s numbers, Raymond could put a squeeze on Kadri’s earning potential … even at a discounted rate.

While Raymond’s skating ability conjures visions of bigger things, he hasn’t really put together the kind of offensive seasons one would hope for (aside from a 25-goal, 53-point campaign in 2009-10). Even so, you’d expect more than just a tryout offer from one of the NHL’s 30 teams.