Defenseman Brett Lebda, who became a free agent this offseason, has signed a two-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs that is worth $2.9 million. No, your eyes are not deceiving you; Lebda will actually be making that much money with the Maple Leafs over the next two seasons.â†µ
Considering the deal Lebda got from Toronto (Brian Burke is a funny one), it should come as no surprise that he isn't returning to the Red Wings. If the Wings had more cap room, chances are they would have tried to bring him back (not for $2.9 million, though), but with so little space, Detroit had to let him go.â†µ
This isn't a big loss for the Wings or anything considering Lebda was never very consistent with his play, but his contract could have a negative effect on Detroit. The Red Wings are in the market for another defenseman, but with a player like Lebda getting almost $3 million, suddenly it's probably going to be a bit tougher to get a competent defenseman for a bottom of the barrel price like the Wings originally hoped. One deal doesn't necessarily set the entire market, but it definitely makes contract negotiations a bit tougher.