Leafs may have bigger plans than the AHL for UFA signing Dylan Gambrell

Ryan Smitheram
August 15, 2023  (8:43)

On July 3rd, while Leaf fans were still excited over the signings of Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi, Brad Treliving quietly added some more depth down the middle when he signed Dylan Gambrell to a 1-year deal worth $775K. Gambrell spent last season with the Ottawa Senators playing in 60 games and registering 10 points in just over 11 minutes of ice-time per game.

"Gambrell has played a lot in the league over the past few years. I think he is going to provide us with good depth," Treliving said at the time of the signing.
Gambrell brings a lot of energy and speed to the Leafs' bottom six, should he beat out Pontus Holmberg for the final spot down the middle. Both he and Holmberg are very responsible defensively, and while Holmberg performed better offensively putting up 13 points in his 37 games of NHL experience, Gambrell's 233 NHL games may give him the advantage. In addition to his speed, energy and defensive responsibility, the Leafs were also very high on Gambrell's actions off the ice.
His former coach at Denver University, David Carle, praised his off-ice comradery in a recent article with The Athletic saying, "He's a guy who endears himself well to his teammates because of the quality of person he is, and the values he has." Carle noted that Gambrell was often responsible for ensuring the entire team was at team functions and would make an effort to include every player in activities.
The sentiment from his former college coach was echoed by his former Denver teammate Logan O'Connor as well. "He likes to relate to everyone, and in different ways, which is a pretty unique characteristic of his.»
His ability to get teammates together off the ice is similar to that of another new Leaf in Ryan Reaves. Although Reaves has a more outgoing and loud personality compared to Gambrell, the addition of both into what Treliving called a "quiet" group should help the team shake the identity of "Core 4 plus 19", which is something Leafs management put strong focus on this summer.
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Leafs may have bigger plans than the AHL for UFA signing Dylan Gambrell

Will Dylan Gambrell be utilized by the Leafs in the NHL this season?

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