After skating for most of the NHL lockout around Boston with other regulars like Shawn Thornton and then getting into game shape during a month-long stint with the AHLs San Antonio Rampage, a source indicated to CSNNE.com that former Bruins defenseman Mike Mottau will ink a one-year, two-way deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs as soon as the new CBA is in effect.
The 34-year-old Mottau had some offers to play in Europe over the summer if he committed to the entire season, but the veteran defenseman held out hope on a couple of things: the NHL work stoppage wouldnt be a long one and that perhaps there would be a chance for the South Shore native to re-sign with his hometown Bruins.
Neither of those things happened as the lockout didnt get solved until January, and Mottau finally signed a veteran tryout agreement with San Antonio in December. The former Boston College Hobey Baker Award winner had a training camp invitation lined up with the Florida Panthers this week, but upgraded to the one-year contract with the Leafs when the offer presented itself.
The free agent deal with Toronto closes the book on his time in Boston after finishing last season with a pair of assists and a minus-11 rating in 36 games for both the Isles and Bruins. There was a thought that perhaps Mottau would be invited back with Adam McQuaid a physical question mark to begin the season, but instead one of Bostons Northeast Division rivals took a shot on the heady defenseman.
Mottau was caught in a tough spot by the timing of the NHL lockout, but its good that a very competent sixthseventh defenseman that still has plenty to offer will get a chance to reestablish himself in Toronto. Expect a flood of two-way deals and short term veteran signings like the Mottau deal to be announced by all of the NHL clubs once the NHL CBA memorandum of understanding is signed by both sides as soon as Saturday night.