Maple Leafs Linked with Laurent Brossoit, Brett Pesce

WINNIPEG, CANADA - DECEMBER 4: Goaltender Laurent Brossoit #39 of the Winnipeg Jets takes part in the pre-game warm up prior to NHL action against the Carolina Hurricanes on Canadian Armed Forces Appreciation Night at the Canada Life Centre on December 4, 2023 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

James Mirtle of The Athletic reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs and goaltender Laurent Brossoit are both interested in negotiating a contract if Brossoit enters unrestricted free agency on July 1.

David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period also notes that the Maple Leafs are keen on signing defenseman Brett Pesce from the Hurricanes if he becomes available next month.

At 31, Brossoit is likely seeking a more prominent role after starting 22 games last season behind Connor Hellebuyck with the Jets. Despite limited opportunities, he posted impressive numbers with a .927 save percentage, a 2.00 goals-against average, and three shutouts.

His career stats (.911 SV%, 2.64 GAA) are competitive with other free agents like Anthony Stolarz and Cam Talbot. Last season, Brossoit began with the Golden Knights, recovering from injury and spending time in the minors before rejoining the team and earning a playoff start.

A short-term contract around $3 million annually seems plausible, similar to what Stolarz might earn after a strong season with the Panthers.

Toronto sees Brossoit as a potential replacement for Ilya Samsonov, who will also hit free agency. Brossoit would likely share duties with Joseph Woll, aiming to surpass his previous career-high in starts, provided he stays healthy.

On the other hand, the Hurricanes are attempting to re-sign Brett Pesce, but negotiations have stalled. Reports indicate that Pesce turned down a five-year, $5 million annual offer.

Pesce, a durable defender who averages over 20 minutes per game, could be a valuable addition to teams like Nashville, which needs to replace Ryan McDonagh. Pesce’s consistent defensive performance and right-shot capability make him a strong candidate to play alongside Roman Josi on Nashville’s top pairing.

With the Leafs seeking more reliable defensemen, Pesce could offer an upgrade in puck-moving abilities compared to current options like Jake McCabe and the outgoing T.J. Brodie. Despite a recent dip in offensive production, Pesce’s solid defensive metrics and past performances make him a notable target in the free-agent market.

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