After a fairly successful training camp with the Toronto Maple Leafs, veteran forward Matt Read has decided to stay with the organization. The team announced today that Read has been released from his professional tryout, but will sign a one-year AHL contract. In order to call Read up the Maple Leafs would need to sign him to an NHL deal.
The 33-year old Read was once a shining example of the value you can find in undrafted college free agents, after he scored 57 goals in his first 196 games with the Philadelphia Flyers. Unfortunately, given he didn’t play his first NHL game until he was 25, that period of offensive success quickly disappeared as Read’s career continued. By the 2014-15 season he was scoring just a handful of goals per season and eventually found himself in the minor leagues fighting for playing time.
A shining star that burned bright but quickly, Read will now try to prove that he still has a bit left in the tank for the Toronto Marlies, who should be poised to challenge for the Calder Cup once again. Perhaps with a few impressive weeks or months in the minors another NHL team will take notice and give him an opportunity, but at this point he looks like he may play the role of veteran leader with a young group.