Maple Leafs face huge problem with one key free-agent signing!

Maple Leafs face huge problem with one key free-agent signing!

GM Brad Treliving can’t be happy about this.

Chris Gosselin

On the opening day of free agency, the Toronto Maple Leafs were quite active and made several moves and signings, including inking 6-foot-7 defensive monster Jani Hakanpaa.

Hakanpaa has signed a two-year, $3M contract with the Maple Leafs, however, reports have emerged that the giant blue liner may never see the ice in the NHL again, per Steve Simmons with the Toronto Sun. This is what he has reported:

“A year ago, maybe two years ago, Hakanpaa would have factored rather nicely on the Leafs defence. He’s a giant of a man at 6-foot-7, popular in the room, that great hockey vernacular, and a penalty-killer beyond compare. But one with a knee so bad that some think — although the Leafs disagree — that he may never play again.

“The Leafs signed him to play but many doubt he will. It’s said to be bone-on-bone with not much knee left. It’s said to be trouble.

“Two years ago, Hakanpaa was playing 18 minutes for the Stars. He might have played his last NHL game in March. If he plays again, plays at all for the Leafs, it will shock those who were around in recent seasons.”

The Maple Leafs targeted help on the back end, especially its right side, where Hakanpaa would fit and help out on the penalty kills. However, he hasn’t played since March 16 and only managed to collect two goals and 10 assists in the 64 games he did play.

This has raised a lot of concerns in Toronto, though the Leafs also signed Chris Tanev to a six-year, $27 million followed by a four-year deal worth $3.5 million per season.

With their new additions, the Maple Leafs are looking to make a push for the playoffs and have a long postseason run. It would be a tough blow to chase it without Hakanpaa and even more heartbreaking for the defenseman to have to call it quits at 32 years old.