Bibeau, Griffith not qualified by Maple Leafs, will become UFAs

National hockey writer Michael Traikos says the Maple Leafs could’ve possibly drafted the best defenceman in the draft, in Timothy Liljegren, and now it’s up to their development staff to make sure he’s a top 2 d-man.

TORONTO – Antoine Bibeau and two other members of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization are due to become unrestricted free agents after failing to receive a qualifying offer before Monday’s 5 p.m. ET deadline.

Forwards Seth Griffith and Sergey Kalinin will also be free to sign with any NHL team as of July 1.

Bibeau, a 23-year-old goaltender, spent three years playing in the American Hockey League after being drafted by the Leafs 172nd overall in 2013. He made his first two NHL starts last season for Toronto, going 1-1-0.

A former QMJHL playoff MVP, Bibeau saw his development stall in recent years – dropping from a .913 save percentage in his first season with the Marlies to .894 this past year. He only appeared in one playoff game for the AHL team this spring.

Griffith was twice claimed on waivers by the Leafs last season. The 24-year-old forward had no points in three games with the NHL team, but put up 44 in 38 regular-season games for the Marlies.

Kalinin was acquired from the New Jersey Devils in a February minor-league trade for Viktor Loov and had four points in 19 AHL games.

Meanwhile, the Leafs retained four pending restricted free agents by issuing qualifying offers: forwards Connor Brown and Zach Hyman, defenceman Justin Holl and goalie Garret Sparks.

Those players have until July 15 to accept the offer. They may also negotiate a longer-term extension with the team.


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