The Leafs already had bottom six depth coming out of the ears and today they added more by re-upping once Kessel linemate Joey Crabb for another year. The bottom six underproduced last season and you can’t say Burke hasn’t done something about it by adding options upon options and creating some serious competition in the ranks.
You can bet this deal is on similar terms to the Boyce deal; a two-way contract with an AHL salary of $105,000 (update: that AHL number is now confirmed, and he will earn $750,000 in the NHL). For those that missed the same explanation on Boyce, this would enable the Leafs to recall Crabb from the minors without having him pass through re-entry waivers (further explanation in the comments section if you are confused). Meaning, it adds another depth option with zero risk who will add to the fierce level of competition at camp, and worst case he starts the season by adding a veteran presence to the Marlies.
Many, seemingly including Brian Burke, are giving Matt Frattin are really good shot at a third line spot out of camp, but we have after all seen only one game from the U. of North Dakota product. Of course, Nazem Kadri finished the season in that role and many think he will come back, stake his claim to the role again and go on to a breakout season of sorts. Crabb will add further competition for that checking line winger role.Â You can expect Boyce and Dupuis to be in direct competition at fourth line center while Kadri, Frattin and Crabb compete for the third line winger spot, with Lombardi presumably out of the picture to start the year.