Leafs defenseman Simon Benoit
Photo credit: Dan Hamilton - USA Today Sports

Leafs D Simon Benoit reveals how he plans to celebrate his extension

Published March 31, 2024 at 11:35
BY MIKE ARMENTI

When the Toronto Maple Leafs officially announced that they had signed Simon Benoit to a 3-year deal, worth $1.35M per season, it was a move that was almost unanimously celebrated by Leafs Nation, as Benoit had very quickly endeared himself to the fanbase. Benoit's defensive play, physical presence and willingness to stick up for his teammates are just a few of the boxes he checks in Toronto. The fact that he's only 25 years old and still has some room to grow is an even more attractive quality.

For Benoit, an undrafted free agent signee by the Anaheim Ducks, a disastrous 2022-23 season, during which he was a -29, ultimately led to the Ducks opting to leave the RFA defenseman unqualified, freeing him up to sign with another team. After failing to secure a deal at the start of free agency, Benoit had held out, waiting for the right opportunity. That hold out lasted into August, when Brad Treliving came calling. After inking a 1-year deal worth a league minimum $775K and playing his way onto the Leafs roster, Benoit's 3-year deal gave him something he's never really had before. Some security and a place that feels like home.

After signing his 3-year deal, which will have him calling Toronto home for a total of at least 4 years, Benoit was asked by the Toronto media how he plans to celebrate his new contract. Benoit's answer was so pure and wholesome. Rather than focusing on himself, the Laval, Quebec native told reporters that he'd celebrate by taking his girlfriend shopping.




Prior to Benoit signing his extension, the Leafs had just 3 NHL defensemen, Morgan Rielly, Jake McCabe and Conor Timmins, under contract for next season. Now, with Benoit in the fold, that makes 4. If the Leafs can come to terms on a new deal with pending RFA defenseman Timothy Liljegren, that will round out the top 5, leaving Brad Treliving to fill only one roster spot on the blueline. With T.J. Brodie, Mark Giordano, Ilya Lyubushkin and Joel Edmundson all on expiring deals, getting Benoit locked up beyond this season was a vital piece of business that needed to be addressed. Thankfully, Treliving didn't wait to lock up a key piece for his blueline, and after publicly stating on a number of occasions this season that he'd love the opportunity to sign an extension and remain a Toronto Maple Leaf, Benoit got what he wanted, turning his 1-year deal into a longer-term situation with some security.
POLL
March 31   |   409 answers
Leafs D Simon Benoit reveals how he plans to celebrate his extension

What do you think of Simon Benoit's new 3-year extension with the Leafs?

Good deal for Benoit6616.1 %
Good deal for the Leafs9623.5 %
It's a fair deal for both sides24058.7 %
I don't like the deal for either side71.7 %
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