Cody McCleod, Colorado Avalanche: 32 years old, 6-2, 210 pounds, LW, currently signed through 2018 at AAV $1.3M/year; 16 games played, 0 points
OK, before you start emailing me death threats, give this idea a chance. Cody McLeod is currently in coach Jared Bednar’s doghouse for reasons I couldn’t tell you, but there is value here.
Last year, McLeod was an assistant captain for former coach Partick Roy and was 12th in the league in hits. Plus he has no problem dropping the gloves to protect his teammates.
Now, new-age hockey gurus will tell you that using a roster spot for an enforcer is antiquated and most teams are moving past this. Hockey purists will disagree. Players like McLeod are valuable because they bring more than just fighting. McLeod is known for his heat-seeking forecheck and battles in front of the net. These are two things the ‘Hawks could use vast improvement on.
Lastly you may be thinking, isn’t this what Jordin Tootoo is supposed to be doing? You stand correct, although it’s apparent Tootoo has lost a step. With his salary expiring at the end of this year, Tootoo should be a one-and-done Blackhawk.
If the Blackhawks can find a way to make the money work, Cody McLeod would make a solid upgrade to the bottom six.