Teams begin signing players to PTOs; here are some options that may make sense for the Leafs

Dean Chaudhry
August 29, 2023  (10:28)

With training camp only a few weeks away and the NHL's regular season just around the corner, several teams have dipped their toes into the PTO pool, possibly trying to unearth some hidden gems. Just recently, the Edmonton Oilers signed Sam Gagner and Brandon Sutter, with the Carolina Hurricanes jumping in and signing Cory Conacher and Brendan Perlini to PTOs.

With absolutely no risk involved, the Toronto Maple Leafs should be doing the same thing with several interesting and intriguing options still on the market in Tyler Motte, Jujhar Khaira, and Ethan Bear, to name a few.
Motte has played in 7 seasons with 5 different clubs, primarily as a bottom-6 checker with penalty killing upside. He has 43 goals and 81 points across 331 games, has averaged 12:52 TOI, and has 773 hits including 5 seasons where he surpassed 100+ checks. The 28-year-old would be a solid addition to the fourth line, centering Sam Lafferty and Ryan Reaves, while giving the Leafs another penalty killing option.
Khaira would be another bottom-6 checker with penalty killing upside that the Leafs could use. The 6'4, 212-pound winger would most definitely look great opposite Ryan Reaves and give the Maple Leafs an intimidating presence whenever on the ice. He can drop the gloves if need be, has 5 seasons with 108+ hits, and has scored 33 goals and 80 points in 336 games across 8 seasons.
Bear being unsigned is a little puzzling, considering the fact that teams prioritize defense and that he is a right-handed shot. He has played for the Oilers, Hurricanes, and most recently with the Vancouver Canucks and has always been a solid option on the back-end. For his career, he has 16 goals and 63 points in 251 games, has averaged 18:51 TOI, has 312 blocked shots, and plays in all situations. On a not-so-good Canucks team, the 26-year-old was a +6 and was top-5 on the team in both CF% and FF% for player with 30+ games played.
While the Leafs possess a loaded roster from top-to-bottom, it still never hurts to give a few guys a PTO ahead of training camp. It comes at no risk and allows for healthy competition at the bottom of the lineup.
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Teams begin signing players to PTOs; here are some options that may make sense for the Leafs

Who would you like to see sign a PTO in Toronto?

Tyler Motte4020.7 %
Jujhar Khaira2110.9 %
Ethan Bear10755.4 %
Other2513 %
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