The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to acquire bottom 6 forwards with low cap hit heading into next season. Today the Leafs agreed to terms with Vancouver native Mike Santorelli who spent last season with the Vancouver Canucks. The two sides agreed on a one-year deal worth $1.5 million.
For some, this deal could be thought to be a steal from Dave Nonis, stealing Santorelli away from the Canucks after a breakthrough season where he made the team out of camp and posted 28 points in 49 games before a season-ending shoulder injury. Prior to his stint in Vancouver, Santorelli had a 20 goal and 40 point season with the Florida Panthers, however his time there was also cut short due to injury.
There is little doubt that Mike Santorelli has the skills to be a bottom 6 centre/forward, the biggest question is whether or not he can stay healthy, an issue the Leafs have had to deal with a lot as of late. He was drafted by the Nashville Predators in 2004 and has bounced around between the AHL and NHL since that time. Prior to his NHL/AHL career, he laced up for Northern Michigan University where he won the Universities MVP award. If he can stay healthy and beat out competition like Peter Holland, than Mike Santorelli will be a great pick-up for the Toronto Maple Leafs.