Aug 10: CapFriendly confirmed the financial details of Jones’ contract. The veteran netminder will earn the league-minimum $775K base salary with the remaining $100K paid out via a signing bonus.
Aug 9: The Toronto Maple Leafs and veteran netminder Martin Jones have agreed to a one-year, $875K contract, per a team release. He’s now expected to provide insurance and compete for the backup job in Toronto.
Jones, 33, brings a capable veteran element to Toronto’s crease depth, although it’s not out of the question that he’s assigned to the minors for the first time in a decade. He spent the 2022-23 season with the Seattle Kraken, posting a 27-13-3 record and three shutouts but a rather poor .886 save percentage in 48 games.
It was the most action Jones had seen in a season since his starting days with the San Jose Sharks in the mid-2010s, but it was mostly due to Philipp Grubauer’s injury-related absences rather than performance. Across ten seasons and 444 NHL contests with the Kraken, Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, and Philadelphia Flyers, Jones’ career numbers still read a .905 save percentage and 2.71 goals-against average despite his struggles in recent years.
Considering he hasn’t been an above-average netminder in six years, Jones likely slots in third on Toronto’s goalie depth chart behind starter Ilya Samsonov and intriguing prospect Joseph Woll. After the latter had a strong showing down the stretch of the regular season and in the playoffs when Samsonov went down with an injury, he’s the likely candidate to win a backup job.
While Jones did receive a one-way deal, that’s not likely an indication that Toronto envisions having him on the NHL roster all season. It’s clear the Leafs were looking to add at that position – their AHL goalie depth is unimpressive with Woll graduating to the pros. Earlier this summer, they were linked to another veteran, former Tampa Bay Lightning backup Brian Elliott, but he remains unsigned.
It’s worth noting Jones will require waivers to head to the AHL, and there’s no guarantee he’ll clear after the workload he took on last season and his affordable contract.