Movers and Shakers: Leafs talking to Andy Miele

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Screen cap courtesy Syphus Training

In an attempt to give you more than just a tweet to go on, here’s a bit of a background on what we know about Andy Miele. Andy spent the entire 2014-15 season in the AHL on the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Red Wings AHL affiliate. So there’s some level of familiarity with Babcock, and Babcock systems. Previous to that, Miele was in the Coyotes system and played a total of 15 NHL games since 2011 picking up two assists.

So, right now you’re probably not particularly high on Miele based on that. Throw in the fact that he’s 27 years old, and 5’8 it’s clear there are other knocks against him too.

Miele’s AHL numbers paint a different picture. He’s been a point per game player the past two seasons, and was a solid offensive contributor before that. He’s capable of lining up at center or on wing. 

So, where does he fit? Depending on how many bodies the Leafs move out he’s potentially a Leaf and that’s probably Toronto’s best selling point on acquiring him. Most organizations are going to be looking at him as an AHL player, but Toronto is his best chance to earn a regular NHL shift. 

If he’s AHL bound he’s somewhat of a veteran presence there, and replaces the offence lost when McKegg was traded and adds some. With the Marlies heading in such a youthful direction, I think it’s far more likely that Miele is being looked at as a Joey Crabb type player who can be dropped anywhere in the lineup and not one you worry about sending to the press box either.

What’s it going to cost to land Miele? I can’t imagine a lot. Presumably he’s looking for a one way deal of guaranteed money, something the Leafs are more likely to provide than the other two rumoured teams (Carolina, St. Louis). An offer of around $925k is fair, but the term is the breaking point. I can’t imagine too many teams are wanting to go more than one year on Miele and he’s likely looking for more. With the Toronto rebuild, is it worth committing to two or three years to get him? I’d suggest no, but it would be far from the worst thing the Leafs have done in free agency if they offer him an additional year. 

The greatest takeaway from this is that the Leafs are starting with the cheap hit or miss guys and ignoring any of the higher profile free agents. If only we could put this philosophy in a time machine and send it back about eight years.

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