A signing that you may not have even heard about, Vincent LoVerde was one of three veterans signed on July 1 to help out with the Toronto Marlies.
After 301 games in the American Hockey League, LoVerde has become a well-respected leader with Los Angeles’ minor league affiliates over the past five seasons. With the departure of Andrew Campbell, LoVerde is going to fill the void left by the Marlies’ now former captain.
Toronto Maple Leafs Roster Preview, 50-in-50: Vincent LoVerde
After four years with the Miami RedHawks, LoVerde began his professional career by signing with the Ontario Reign of the ECHL in 2011. From there, LoVerde worked his way up the Los Angeles Kings’ organization. He joined the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL in late 2012 and signed a one-year entry level contract with the Kings in 2014. In 2015, Vincent LoVerde was brought back on a two-year contract by Los Angeles after captaining the Monarchs to a Calder Cup trophy.
LoVerde played his third season as a captain with the Kings’ AHL affiliate in 2016-17, posting the best offensive numbers of his career. At 27 years of age, LoVerde scored nine goals and 35 points in 61 games, leading the Reign in defensive scoring and finishing sixth overall in Ontario. Additionally, LoVerde recorded 68 PIM, also a career high. In five playoff games, LoVerde was unable to find the scoresheet.
Profile (via EliteProspects)
Weight: 205 lbs
NHL Draft: Undrafted, Signed on May 14, 2014, by Los Angeles
Contract (via CapFriendly)
On July 1, 2017, LoVerde signed his second straight two-year contract, this time with the Toronto Maple Leafs. His newest contract gives him a $600,000 raise in the minors, as LoVerde signed a one-way deal.
As it is unlikely he plays in the NHL (he has yet to make his NHL debut), Toronto lured LoVerde to Ricoh Coliseum by giving him a hefty AHL deal. Rather than offer a two-way contract or an outright AHL contract, the Leafs were able to bring the Chicago native to Toronto by giving him a significant pay raise.
In giving LoVerde a two-year contract that pays him $700,000 in the first year and $750,000 in the second, Toronto was able to price out the rest of the teams in the market for a valuable leader who can serve as good depth.
The contract doesn’t affect the Leafs cap at all either. His contract can be completely buried in the minors. The only downside to this is that he does take up one of the 50 SPC slots the Leafs have, though having LoVerde as a potential call-up due to injuries is not so bad.
As previously mentioned, Vincent LoVerde has yet to make his NHL debut. Although he has cemented himself as an AHL regular, LoVerde has not received a shot in the NHL.
It is unlikely that shot comes in Toronto either. LoVerde’s chances are increased due to the lack of depth on the right side throughout the organization, but it’s doubtful the Leafs want to remove the potential captain from the Marlies lineup.
Think of Vincent LoVerde has Andrew Campbell 2.0. Campbell played six games for the Leafs over his two-year tenure in Toronto, coming at the end of the 2015-16 season when almost literally every player eligible received a call-up. LoVerde could very well replace Campbell as the captain, who signed with the Arizona Coyotes this summer.
LoVerde is an upgrade on Campbell as well. The native of Chicago is younger than Campbell and outscored the now former Marlies captain a year ago. LoVerde is also a right handed defenceman, although Campbell could play on the right as well.
Overall, don’t expect to hear much about Vincent LoVerde over the next two seasons unless you are watching a Marlies game. The Marlies have learned that veteran leadership is vital to a successful Calder Cup run after bowing out early in recent years. With LoVerde and his experience, the Marlies are looking to make a deep run once again in this year’s Calder Cup Playoffs.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images