The Maple Leafs have dipped into the free agent pool to sign defenceman Stephane Robidas to a three-year, $9 million contract.
Dave Nonis has added a right-handed top-4 option here in the tough-as-nails veteran. Certainly he brings the element of leadership and tough-to-play-against qualities, but he also has a long track record of capably handling tough minutes, averaging 22:14 in the lockout-shortened season and just under 20 minutes in his curtailed 2013-14 season. He seems like a great fit on Jake Gardiner or Morgan Rielly’s right.
The obvious risk comes in the form of signing a 37-year-old defenceman who broke his right leg twice in the past few years to a 3-year contract. That said, he’s already skating in early July.
Robidas “I just started skating last week. I’m about 95% right now. I’ll be at 5 months [since the injury] when training camp starts
— Hope_Smoke (@Hope_Smoke) July 1, 2014
You simply don’t get free agent deals done, if the player has any level of interest, without giving out at least a year more than what’s ideal, and considering the overpayments in money and term today (lol Orpik), this is palatable.
The other element of risk to this deal is that it is a multi-year over-35 contract, meaning the Leafs cannot bury a portion of it if Robidas doesn’t return to form.
Players who sign multi-year contracts when they are age 35 or older (calculated on June 30 of the season the contract begins) count toward the cap under all circumstances, regardless of where (or if) the player is playing. The only cap relief is $100,000 from the player’s cap hit if he is assigned to the minors after the first year of the contract or in the event of a buyout.
If Robidas is healthy this is a nice signing for the Leafs. Good player, does well in tough match-ups, RD, plays like a SOB. Term is iffy.
— Anthony Petrielli (@APetrielli) July 1, 2014
Stephane Robidas Scouting Report
heads up puck mover possessing excellent skating ability… escapes danger utilizing his quick first step and acceleration… not a natural puck handler, yet makes a decent first pass… aggressive and courageous despite a smallish frame – battles ferociously away from the puck… sustains tight gaps and plays mostly error-free defence… tought to beat 1-on-1 due to his exceptional agility and steely determination… mental mistakes do creep into the game from time to time however, particularly when the workload intensifies… and ideal complementary partner
Stephane Robidas Statistics