Max Domi latest Maple Leafs free agent addition, joining Bertuzzi, Klingberg, Reaves

Max Domi remembers playing with miniature hockey sticks in the Scotiabank Arena hallways growing up.

Next season, he’ll step onto the ice as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs after signing a one-year, $3-million US contract on Monday.

The 28-year-old’s father, Tie Domi, played for the Maple Leafs from 1995 to 2006 and became a fan favourite as a colourful enforcer who punched far above his height at five-foot-eight.

Domi, who stands slightly taller at five-foot-10, says he’s envisioned himself sporting the same jersey his father once donned since he was young.

“It’s a dream come true, it really is,” said Domi, who calls longtime Toronto captain Mats Sundin family and on occasion took the ice after Maple Leafs morning skates at the then-named Air Canada Centre growing up. “It’s something I’ve thought about for a long, long time and dreamed up over and over again.

“I’ll never forget the feeling of just skating around out there, looking at the seats and being like, ‘Man, this would be the coolest thing in the world playing in this rink with every seat filled and playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs.”

Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving’s relationship with Domi goes back to his days with the Arizona Coyotes, who drafted Domi in 2013.

Treliving believes they’ll see the “best version” of Domi playing for his hometown club.

“He has been dying to play in Toronto for a long time,” said Treliving. “Having players that it means a great deal to them to pull on that jersey I think is important, and that’s Max.”

Productive post-season

Domi, 28, had 20 goals and 56 points in 80 regular-season games split between Chicago and the Dallas Stars last season.

In 19 playoff games with the Stars, who reached the Western Conference final, he produced three goals and 10 assists.

Treliving says Domi’s ability to play multiple roles and positions, and his recent playoff experience, are things the Maple Leafs are excited to add to their lineup.

“I think he’s become a more responsible player. What I like about Max is also his versatility … he’s got centre versatility, plays the wing, can move up and down,” he said. “I think he’s a much more mature player. He understands the things now that are important. It’s not all about points.”

Domi joins his seventh NHL team after stints with the Arizona Coyotes, Montreal Canadiens, Columbus Blue Jackets, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago and Dallas Stars.

Toronto also announced Monday it has signed forward Dylan Gambrell to a one-year contract worth $775,000.

Gambrell, 26, skated in 60 games with the Ottawa Senators last season, recording four goals and 10 points. In 233 NHL regular-season games with Ottawa and San Jose, the Bonney Lake, Wash., native has 40 points on 17 goals and 23 assists.

Gambrell was drafted by San Jose in the second round (60th overall) in 2016.

Domi and Gambrell are the latest moves in an active free agency for the Maple Leafs. Toronto signed winger Tyler Bertuzzi to a one-year, $5.1-million contract on Sunday, a day after signing defenceman John Klingberg and tough guy Ryan Reaves.

“Both [Domi and Bertuzzi], I think there’s a DNA part of them that, we need a little bit more snot to our game,” said Treliving. “I think they both bring a little bit of that, so we felt it was a good day yesterday.”

Toronto also said goodbye to eight players over the weekend as forwards Ryan O’Reilly, Michael Bunting, Noel Acciari and Alexander Kerfoot, along with defencemen Luke Schenn, Justin Holl, Erik Gustafsson and goaltender Erik Kallgren skipped town.

Canadiens extend Harvey-Pinard deal 2 years

The Montreal Canadiens have signed forward Rafael Harvey-Pinard to a two-year, $2.2-million US contract extension.

The 24-year-old from Saguenay, Que., had 14 goals and 20 points in 34 regular-season games with the Canadiens last season.

He led all rookies in goals and rookie forwards in blocked shots (56) over his time in the NHL.

Harvey-Pinard added 16 goals 31 points 40 appearances with the American Hockey League’s Laval Rocket.

The five-foot-nine, 181-pound forward was selected by Montreal in the seventh round (201st overall) in 2019.

Lightning dump salary

The Tampa Bay Lightning traded winger Patrick Maroon and a prospect to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2024 draft.

Maroon, 35, a three-time Stanley Cup winner, is owed $1 million US on the final year of his contract in 2023-24. The Lightning are retaining 20 per cent of that salary.

Tampa also sent forward Max Cajkovic to Minnesota in the deal, announced late Sunday night.

Maroon tallied five goals, 14 points and a league-high 150 penalty minutes in 80 regular-season games last season, his fourth in Tampa Bay. He has 288 points in 12 seasons with five clubs. He won a Cup with the St. Louis Blues (2019) and two with the Lightning (2020, 2021).

Cajkovic, 22, recorded 10 goals and 27 points in 41 contests with the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL last season.

Marc Staal bolts Panthers for Flyers

Marc Staal is joining the Philadelphia Flyers, signing a $1.1 million contract for next season with a team embarking on a lengthy rebuilding process.

General manager Daniel Briere announced the signing Monday, following the Flyers’ deals over the weekend with gritty winger Garnet Hathaway and depth center Ryan Poehling. Hathaway got $4.75 million US over two years and Poehling $1.4 million for one year.

Staal is coming off helping the Florida Panthers reach the Stanley Cup final. He skated nearly 21 minutes a night during that run after playing all 82 regular-season games and putting up 15 points.

The 36-year-old fills a void expected to open when Philadelphia trades Tony DeAngelo back to Carolina. They tried to make that trade in recent weeks, but were prohibited by an NHL rule from doing so because it was less than a year since DeAngelo was dealt from the Hurricanes to the Flyers.

July 7 would mark 12 months, after which the trade back could be completed. DeAngelo was a healthy scratch late in the season under coach John Tortorella, with Philadelphia going as far as playing one defenceman short rather than dressing the 27-year-old.

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