Mike Santorelli signed by the Maple Leafs to 1-year, $1.5 million contract

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Mike Santorelli
Mike Santorelli (Photo: NHLI.com_)

The Maple Leafs have signed centerman Mike Santorelli to a 1-year, $1.5 million contract.

It looks like the Maple Leafs have settled for two cheaper options than David Legwand to round out their bottom six centers, adding Mike Santorelli as well as KHL import Petri Kontiola today. One is likely to play wing (Kontiola or Santorelli could play RW) while the other rounds out the group of centers alongside Tyler Bozak, Nazem Kadri and Peter Holland.  Those are questions for training camp. For now, all of Petri Kontiola, Peter Holland and Mike Santorelli give the Leafs bottom six C options and the Leafs are paying all three quite a bit less collectively than they would have Dave Bolland.

[quote_box_right]”I like him as a player. He can really shoot the puck.”
Jim Benning[/quote_box_right]Avoiding burdensome contracts on mediocre talent in favour of good-value piecemeal options, lower-commitment and lower-risk options with the potential to provide the same impact or better, appears to be the approach for Leafs management this off season. Good on them. Maybe they net out ahead from a number of cheaper, incremental improvements; at a minimum, some cap flexibility remains in tact and David Clarkson remains the lone egregious contract on the roster.

This is good value for a former 40-point scorer in Santorelli (put up a 20-21-40 season with the Panthers in 2010-11). He had a down year in 2011-12 before shoulder surgery all but wiped his 2012-13 season, but he bounced back with a good season of 28 points in 49 games last season in Vancouver (suffered another shoulder injury that wiped a chunk of the season). Vancouver Canucks fans were mostly upset to see him go.

Santorelli, 6’0, 190-pounds, has skill, can cycle and will bring some sorely needed secondary offense in the bottom six. He doesn’t offer the same frame as Nik Kulemin, but he works tirelessly and he should replace his production at a much cheaper price. He adds versatility and depth to the bottom 6 options.

Santorelli won 51.3% of his draws last season. He played 18:33 a game, including 1:43 on the penalty kill and 1:23 on the powerplay. None of his 28 points in 49 games came on the powerplay, which means he posted just six less points at even strength than Mason Raymond in 33 fewer games and eight more than Nik Kulemin in 21 fewer games. He posted a +0.9% corsi rel score.

[quote_box_left]“Forget about the goals; there are a lot of other little things he does in the game. I’m looking up and down the bench in all situations for him. So it’s a really good story.”
-John Tortorella[/quote_box_left]

The Maple Leafs have an interesting bottom six forming consisting of hungry players in Komarov, his fellow new Finnish addition Kontiola, and Santorelli on a one-year deal. There might be more room to improve the team through the bottom six alone than we think, provided Randy Carlyle changes his approach and uses a fourth line, because last season it was positively terrible.

Mike Santorelli Scouting Report

“Skilled oppurtunistic playmaker with quick, nifty hands and good vision… skating is fairly quick and fluid but not dynamic… generates bursts of momentum by an alternating series of crossovers… needs to keep adding power and quickness to his stride, especially in startup… comfortable in possession… sneaky and elusive in tight quarters – makes sharp pivots and reversals with the puck… know how to open lanes coming off the halfwall and packs a quick, accurate wrist shot which he can unload without breaking stride… supports the puckcarrier well in each zone, hustling to get around the puck and provide an outlet… continues to develop a more consistent compete level as he’s most effective when tenancious in puck pursuit… misses some size and physical intensity – and has to maximize his strenght and conditioning… industrious player.”
McKeen’s Hockey

Mike Santorelli Video


Mike Santorelli Statistics

Position: C
Shoots: Right
Height: 6-0
Weight: 189 lbs.
Birth Date: December 14, 1985 (28 years old)
Place of Birth: Vancouver, B.C.
Shoots: R
Drafted:Drafted by Nashville in 2004 (6/178)
SeasonAgeTmGPGAPTS+/-PIMSS%ATOI
Career257434487-43564838.914:43
2008-0923NSH7000-52110.012:15
2009-1024NSH25213-88365.610:57
2010-1125FLA82202141-172019310.416:41
2011-1226FLA609211-10181177.712:24
2012-1327TOT34224-122355.711:52
2012-1327FLA24213-72219.511:06
2012-1327WPG10011-50140.013:43
2013-1428VAN49101828969111.018:34
3 yrsFLA166312455-34403319.414:19
2 yrsNSH32213-1310474.311:14
1 yrVAN49101828969111.018:33
1 yrWPG10011-50140.013:43

  • gjdevlin

    Sounds like a decent signing..if we were to make a trade on Reimer I would guess we would try to get a defenceman?

  • ProfessorRance

    Love both of these signings. Low risk and high reward with no term. Not what we are used to seeing from our GM. Kudos to Nonis.

  • steele123

    $1.5 million is a good deal for us. Better than Legwand…though I’d like Legwand too.

  • RandomScrub

    Ricky_Vaives_slapshot Really now? He uses his body pretty well to score goals from in front of the net. Has a good faceoff percentage and can slot in on the RW where necessary. Blocks some shots and can play on the PK if required.

  • ShotgunCharlie

    CAPGEEK.COM ARMCHAIR GM ROSTERCapGeek Armchair GM Roster
    FORWARDS
    Joffrey Lupul ($5.250m) / Tyler Bozak ($4.200m) / Phil Kessel ($8.000m) 
    James Van Riemsdyk ($4.250m) / Nazem Kadri ($2.900m) / David Clarkson ($5.250m) 
    Leo Komarov ($2.950m) / Mike Santorelli ($1.500m) / Carter Ashton ($1.200m) 
    Peter Holland ($1.000m) / Petri Kontiola ($1.100m) / Matt Frattin ($0.800m) 
    DEFENSEMEN
    Dion Phaneuf ($7.000m) / Stephane Robidas ($3.000m) 
    Roman Polak ($2.750m) / Morgan Rielly ($0.894m) 
    Jake Gardiner ($2.200m) / Petter Granberg ($0.800m) 
    GOALTENDERS
    Jonathan Bernier ($2.900m) 
    James Reimer ($2.400m) 
    BUYOUTS
    Mike Komisarek ($0.000m) 
    Mikhail Grabovski ($0.000m) 
    Tim Gleason ($0.833m) 
    RETAINED SALARIES (0.29% of upper limit)
    Carl Gunnarsson ($0.200m—6.35%) 
    BONUS OVERAGE
    $450,000
    ——
    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (estimations for 2014-15)
    SALARY CAP: $69,000,000; CAP PAYROLL: $61,827,500; BONUSES: $950,000
    CAP SPACE (20-man roster): $7,172,500

  • RandomScrub

    Ricky_Vaives_slapshot RandomScrub That’s fine though isn’t it? Lets the Marlies get a year of seasoning and then if need be could be flipped at the deadline if required.

  • AndrewGalea

    “Avoiding big burdensome contracts in favour of  piecemeal options,
    low-risk-higher-reward options, with less money and term commitment
    appears to be the approach for http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ management this off season.”|
    you guys think this is Shanahan righting the ship or Nonis just getting a bit wise after those big signings last year?

  • RandomScrub

    ShotgunCharlie I think it’ll be closer to this.

    JvR – Bozak – Kessel
    Lupul – Kadri – Kontiola/Santorelli
    Komarov – Santorelli/Kontiola – Clarkson
    Ashton – Holland – Frattin

    Gardiner – Phaneuf
    Rielly – Robidas
    Ranger/Percy/Granberg – Polak

  • RandomScrub

    AndrewGalea Bit of both.

  • TheGroobster

    Mason Raymond 2.0?

  • Black_Hawk

    Nice move, hope we are done now. Shud focus on RFA’s

  • Loric76

    RandomScrub AndrewGalea Nonis only after Shanny smacked him with the hammer

  • RandomScrub

    TheGroobster Really now? He uses his body pretty well to score goals from in front of the net. Has a good faceoff percentage and can slot in on the RW where necessary. Blocks some shots and can play on the PK if required.

  • Omac13

    I guess that means no overpaying for Legwand

  • TheGroobster

    RandomScrub Flaws: Is lacking in defensive acumen, which limits his overall effectiveness at the NHL level. Also lacks the size to win puck battles in the corners. 
    At least if he is willing to go into the corners that would be an improvement, am I right?

  • Loric76

    TheGroobster If this guy puts up even half the points that Raymond put up we’re golden.

  • Omac13

    i like these moves no over payment , short cheep contracts so if it fails no big deal, could possibly move them for assests at the deadline, if it works you got a good player on a cheep contract

  • RandomScrub

    TheGroobster RandomScrub
    “Small, but quick. he’s not overly fast, and has a weird skating stride, but he’s quick. doesn’t shy away from contact and gives 110% at all times.”
    – Forecaster

  • TheGroobster

    Loric76 Raymond’s skill was not in question.

  • TheGroobster

    RandomScrub Fair enough

  • Loric76

    https://twitter.com/DonCherryParody https://twitter.com/DonCherryParody/status/484778248640151552
    YKNOW IS MIKE SANTORELLI RELATED TO THE FONZ FROM THE HAPPY DAYS SHOW (THUMBS UP)

  • Nikhil Daljeet

    Great signing.  Santorelli can play all three positions, adding versatility and depth to the roster.  More importantly he works his ass off every single shift. Adding three competitive, 100% effort guys in Komarov, Robidas and Santorelli should go a long way into setting the tone for this club and making sure some of the more skilled players keep their effort level more consistent (looking at you Lupul).  

    JVR-Bozak-Kessel
    Lupul-Kadri-Santorelli
    Komarov-Kontiola-Clarkson
    Ashton-Holland-Frattin

  • Loric76

    TheGroobster Loric76 what is in question then?

  • Bernier_The_Boats

    I personally like using Santorelli as a 1 year plug rather than tying up Legwand on a multi-year deal.  By this time next year, some internal development/improvement will hopefully be available in the “C” position.  (This is based on Santorelli coming into camp motivated)

  • Bernier_The_Boats

    Better than a Lombardi…

  • reenergized

    I also like the fact that the wings were reportedly trying to land this guy and he choose us :)

  • Xxxxxnew

    “Any time is Santorelli time”

  • TheGroobster

    Loric76 His willingness to battle in the corners.

  • Loric76

    Bernier_The_Boats also makes it easier to press box one of the bottom 6 C when Tavares comes in at the deadline 😀

  • Loric76

    Bernier_The_Boats x1000

  • Bernier_The_Boats

    reenergized Yeah…that’s cool

  • Loric76

    Xxxxxnew win

  • Bernier_The_Boats

    Loric76 Bernier_The_Boats AAAAAh….I like your thinking  😉

  • Zep2

    I’m not deluding myself into thinking Santorelli and the Finn is the answer to all that ails the Leafs. But it finally seems like they are willing to give opportunity to the players within the organization instead of throwing stupid money at Bolland, Grabs, etc

  • HeatherRickAkin

    To me, just a very sensible approach in trying to restructure the team, albeit given the cap situation the Leafs are in , a necessary approach. And yet, it looks like they are adding pieces with sandpaper as part of their resume. And clearly , this team, with all their flair, needed a large influx of grit . I think, so far, so grit .  And with Reimer and Franson as the most likely candidates to be traded , there may be more movement. Not sure what’s out there to go after , and unless a more or less ideal guy becomes available, perhaps the Leafs try to recoup a draft pick or two . A final thought …. about this site .  Alec and company provide great reading , well written , and for the very large part, quite unbiased, given the name of the site . When your talented crew also includes an astute legal mind so well , MLHS deserves many kudos .  The comment section of course is often somewhat tainted with blue and white euphoria, or depression, depending on whether we have won or lost. I plead guilty to being part of that crew (actually, it’s fun).  Back to my point….just a great site, Alec !

  • Loric76

    TheGroobster Loric76 I wouldn’t worry about it.  This guy is all compete.  I’d be more concerned about his skill in corner battles rather than his willingness to try.

  • Xxxxxnew

    I like the fact we have a bit more experience at the C position, wherever these guys end up in the lineup.

  • dlb Mad

    oh shit.  he’s not a C, he’s a centeran.  Holland’s still ok

  • Loric76

    HeatherRickAkin I still think not getting Gorges has left a hole in their blueline plans.  I can see one or both of Franson & Reimer being moved for a 4/5 LD

  • RandomScrub

    dlb Mad Position: C.

  • Omac13

    Nikhil Daljeet Frattin will get the job to start on the RW of Kadri and Lups see if he can rekindle what they had in the playoffs, however i think santorelli is the back up plan if that fails. …..Its nice to see options and its obvisous to see that the leafs are going to employ a 4 line attack and try to have depth up and down the roster.

  • Great Dane

    Nikhil Daljeet  I still believe that Lupul will be moved. Lupul and Reimer for Kane would make sense for both teams

  • Burntheboats

    dlb Mad I’m pretty sure that is some sort Greek mythological character? Half goat and half man? lol

  • vinoa

    dlb Mad Centaurelli?

  • dlb Mad

    incredible how MLHS gets all that information up so fast
    do you guys give Nonis the thumbs up to make the deal official once you’ve got your article written and ready to go?
    wtf

  • Burntheboats

    https://twitter.com/joedepto/status/484778475245826048

  • Great Dane

    That is actually a lot for pieces that can be moved at the deadline. Good move

  • Zep2

    The Finn and Santorelli are keeping seats warm for Gauthier and Nyllander.

  • Loric76

    dlb Mad Nonis and Co. are just puppets.  We all know who pulls the strings.

  • Burntheboats

    https://twitter.com/jonasTSN1050/status/484778047418400770