Scratch another restricted free agent of the list as the Leafs have re-signed Jamie Devane to a two-year deal.
If you’re in the “who the hell is Jamie Devane?” crowd, this ought to jog your memory.
Devane turned Corey Tropp’s lights out in an exhibition game against Buffalo in 2013. That may seem inconsequential, until you realize it directly lead to this carnival.
Devane got his shot at the real thing with a two-game stint with the big club early in the regular season due to some injuries. No goals, no assists, no fights, and less than 12 minutes of total ice time. Not much to take from that.
You can take something from his other totals though. A Burke pick, 3rd round in 2009, Devane’s 45 points in 59 games in his final year in the OHL may have given some a bit of optimism that he could play more than just an enforcer’s role. His AHL numbers say otherwise. With just six goals and seven assists for 13 points in 77 AHL games and a whopping 187 penalty minutes, Devane makes his money with his fists. After all, he’s 6’5″ and about 220. He’s the same height and 10 pounds shy of being the same size as Frazer McLaren. That’s a lot of meanie.
I’ve already seen some bemoaning the signing on Twitter and I get it. Many people, not all but many, want the Leafs to go in a direction that avoids using “goon” type players. The reality is that the team, and more than likely Randy Carlyle, like having this type of player on their side. If you’re not a fan of the signing, answer this: Would you rather have Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren play enforcer-type roles or Troy Bodie and Jamie Devane? I prefer the later, though I’d like David Broll to get another shot in the NHL if the opportunity arises.
I doubt Devane gets much of a shot with the big team this season unless there are multiple injuries. Big or not, he only played in two of the Marlies’ playoff games from this past spring. He could be a potential 12th/13th forward or “some guy on the other team might try something stupid” option going forward. Also keep in mind that the guy is only 22 and still learning.